This ongoing series of collages began in 2015 with the death of Sandra Bland. The works explore the murders and deaths of feminine bodies by patriarchal forces. From murder to neglect, most female bodies who die of unnatural causes do so at the hand of a paternal hierarchy. From the 2018 UN report on Gender related killing of women and girls: “Previously defined by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women as “the culmination of pre-existing forms of violence, often experienced in a continuum of violent acts”, the notion of “femicide” is inextricably linked to violence against women. As such, the violence experienced by women is influenced by conditions of gender-based discrimination, often reflected in patterns attributable to gender-related killings of women, whereby structural factors influencing such discrimination are encountered at the macro level of social, economic and political systems.” Included in this series are women of all races, nationalities and is inclusive of trans women. They are both public figures and private citizens. The text included with each image is taken from the local news and/or the wikipedia page reporting the death. The images are all sourced on the internet, many of them selfies from social media. Bringing to mind both funerary shrouds, pressed flower craft and botanical study/collection, all of the flowers were either grown or foraged by me, such that the process is expanded into a physical realm.
Tulips, goldenrod, carnations, daisies, beach roses
Marielle Franco was a Brazilian politician, feminist, and human rights activist. After earning a master's degree in public administration from the Fluminese Federal University, she served as a city councillor of the Municipal Chamber of Rio do Janeiro for the Socialism and Liberty Party. On 14 March 2018, while in a car after delivering a speech, Franco and her driver were shot multiple times and killed by two murderers in another vehicle. Franco had been an outspoken critic of police brutality and of Brazilian president Michel Termer in the state of Rio de Janeiro which resulted in the deployment of the army in police operations. The bullets that killed Franco are from a batch bought by the federal police in Brasilia in 2006; Minister of Public Security Raul Jungmann later said that they were stolen from a post office storage facility in Paraba but the ministry subsequently retracted this explanation after the Post Office publicly denied it.
14 x 11 inches
Inkjet print, Wild Onion, Wild violets
Wounded Arrow had recently moved to Sioux Falls for a fresh start. The 28-year-old Pine Ridge native had a new job she loved and had just adopted two kittens. She was hoping to continue her college education and become a social worker to help others battling addiction as she had. Wounded Arrow identified as a transgender woman, something LeClaire was aware of, friends said. Police early on in the investigation ruled out her gender identity as a motive in the case. "She had goals," her sister Brenda Wounded Arrow said. "She came here to change her lifestyle...She never got the opportunity to blossom." The last texts Wounded Arrow sent on her phone were "Happy New Year" messages to her friends at about 11:30 p.m., about four hours before LeClaire was seen entering the apartment on security camera footage. Zell in his sentencing said he thinks LeClaire, who carries with him a somewhat hefty juvenile and adult record, is a dangerous person. LeClaire was a parole absconder when the stabbing occurred and already had a felony conviction.
Inkjet print, bleeding Hearts, Wild-flowers
Rekia Boyd, a 22-year-old African-American woman, was fatally shot on March 21, 2012, in Chicago, by Dante Servin, an off-duty Chicago police detective. In November 2013, Servin was charged with "involuntary" manslaughter, but was cleared of all charges on April 20, 2015, by Judge Dennis J. Porter in a rare directed verdict, Porter's reasoning was that since the shooting was intentional, Servin could not be charged with recklessness. "It is intentional and the crime, if any there be, is first-degree murder," said Porter in his ruling. Attorney Sam Adam, Jr., accused state prosecutor Anita Alvarez with deliberately undercharging Servin knowing that the charges would be dropped, in order to curry favor with the police department. Servin claimed he fired because someone in the group was holding a gun, but it was actually only a cellphone. Witnesses said that Servin appeared drunk at the time of the incident. In November 2015, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police superintendent Garry McCarthy both suggested that Dante Servin should be fired by the Chicago Police Board. Servin resigned on May 17, 2016, two days before the departmental hearing which was to decide whether he should be fired.
Inkjet print, daffodils, wild onions, beach roses
Ally Steinfeld, 17, was a trans female who said in May on her Instagram account that she was coming out. Then, less than five months later, she was gruesomely killed at her girlfriend’s house. The girlfriend, who is among three charged with first-degree murder and other crimes, wanted her dead, according to interviews conducted by Texas County Sheriff’s investigators. Briana Calderas, 24, began dating Steinfeld about a week before her death, according to Amber Steinfeld, the slain girl’s mother. “She was excited, talking about her and Briana meeting (the family),” Amber Steinfeld told The Star on Thursday. “She was happy.” She added Steinfeld had told her she was pansexual, which describes being attracted to people regardless of gender. Police believe Seinfeld was killed Sept. 3 in Calderas’ Cabool, MO home - where they found a burn pile, human remains and blood on the living room carpet. Andrew Vrba, 18, admitted that he tried to poison Steinfeld, police say. When she didn’t drink the liquid, he stabbed her multiple times. Calderas and Vrba’s friend Isis Schauer allegedly then traveled to a nearby Walmart to buy supplies to help burn the body.
Inkjet print, juniper needles, beach roses
Rachel Louise Carson (d. April 14, 1964) was an American marine biologist, author, and conservationist whose book Silent Spring and other writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement. Carson began her career as an aquatic biologist in the US Bureau of Fisheries, and became a full-time nature writer in the 1950s. Her widely praised 1951 bestseller The Sea Around Us, won her a U.S. National Book Award recognition as a gifted writer, and financial security. Her next book, The Edge of the Sea, and the reissued version of her first book, Under the Sea World, were also bestsellers. This sea trilogy explores the whole of ocean life from the shores to the depths. Late in the 1950s, Carson turned her attention to conservation, especially some problems that she believed were caused by synthetic pesticides. The result was the book Silent Spring (1962), which brought environmental concerns to an unprecedented share of the American people. Although Silent Spring was met with fierce opposition by chemical companies, it spurred a reversal in national pesticide policy, which led to a nationwide ban on DDT and other pesticides. She died of cancer after not being aggressively treated earlier. She was unmarried and as was customary in the time, doctors discussed a female patients condition with her husband instead of herself. Carson didn’t have a husband.
-Wikipedia and the documentary American Experience/ Rachel Carson
inkjet print, lavender, morning glories, shamrock leaves, tea rose
Sandra Bland was a 28-year-old African-American woman who was found hanged in a jail cell in Waller County, Tx, on July 13, 2015, three days after being arrested during a traffic stop. Her death was ruled a suicide. It was followed by protests against her arrest, disputing the cause of death, and alleging racial violence against her. Bland was pulled over for a traffic violation on July 10 by State Trooper Brian Encinia. The exchange escalated, resulting in Bland's arrest and charge for assaulting a police officer. The arrest was partially recorded by Encinia's dash cam and by a bystander's cell phone. After authorities reviewed the dashcam footage, Encinia was placed on administrative leave for failing to follow proper traffic stop procedures. Texas authorities and theFBI conducted an investigation into Bland's death and determined the Waller County jail did not follow required policies, including time checks on inmates and ensuring that employees had completed required mental health training. In December 2015, a grand jury declined to indict the county sheriff and jail staff for a felony relating to Bland's death. In January 2016, Encinia was indicted for perjury for making false statements about the circumstances surrounding Bland's arrest and he was subsequently fired by the Texas Department of Public Safety. In September 2016, Bland's mother settled a wrongful death lawsuit against the county jail and police department for $1.9 million and some procedural changes.In June 2017, the perjury charge against Encinia was dropped in return for his agreement to permanently end his law enforcement career.
inkjet print, tulips, lemon balm, mint
He couldn’t take her snoring anymore. A SoHo man suffocated his 92-year-old roommate by holding a pillow to her face — all to muffle her annoying snores, law enforcement sources told The Post. Enrique Leyva, 47, had been a live-in caretaker for Veronica Ivins for the past three years, according to neighbors, who said that in recent months their formerly tidy apartment on tony Sullivan Street had devolved into filth and loud arguments. Then, shortly after midnight on Thursday, as the old lady slept, something in the suspect snapped. “I killed my roommate,” Leyva said when he called 911 on Thursday, law enforcement sources told The Post. Cops rushed to the apartment, where neighbors said the woman has lived for at least the last 50 years, and found her lying on her bed semi-conscious. She was taken to New York Presbyterian hospital, where she was pronounced dead, sources said. “He placed a pillow over her face and then placed his hands around her neck,” a police source told The Post. Leyva was taken to the First Precinct, where he was charged with murder Thursday afternoon.
-New York Post 3/8/18
14 x 11 inches
Inkjet Print, beach roses, tulips, bluebells
A Kitimat man has been convicted of killing his teenage daughter in a fit of rage. After deliberating for five hours, a B.C. Supreme Court jury has found Rajinder Singh Atwal guilty of second-degree murder. The Crown said she was murdered because her father was angry about her relationship with her boyfriend, Todd McIsaac. The couple had become involved while attending high school together in Kitimat, and had managed to keep their relationship secret from her parents. In the summer of 2003, Amandeep moved to Prince George to live with Todd. Then she went on one last holiday with her family to Vancouver. Her father offered to drive her back to Prince George. It was somewhere during that trip that Amandeep was stabbed 11 times. Her father delivered her bloody body to Langley Memorial Hospital. He told the staff she had committed suicide. But a pathologist who testified during the trial said some of the stab wounds were "inflicted after death." The defence had argued there was reasonable doubt of guilt because there there were no witnesses, and that much of the evidence was circumstantial. Rajinder Atwal did not testify in his own behalf, and his lawyer called no witnesses in his brief defence. Atwal remained composed during the final stages of his trial – until the guilty verdict. He then looked at his wife in the gallery and cried briefly. The 48-year-old Atwal faces an automatic life sentence. A hearing in June will determine when he will be eligible for parole. His lawyer indicated he intends to appeal the verdict.
-CBC News · Posted: Mar 04, 2005
Inkjet print, beach roses, morning glories, wheat grass, wildflower
Heyer grew up in Ruckersville, VA, graduated from William Monroe HS and was killed in the Charlottesville car attack. While bartending, she was approached by Alfred A. Wilson, the manager of the bankruptcy division at the Miller Law Group in Charlottesville. Heyer did not have a background in law; Wilson hired her at the recommendation of a friend and said that she "had an eye for detail" and was "a people person". He reportedly told her, "If you can get people to open up to you, that's what I need. I'll teach you everything about the law you need to know." She continued her job as a waitress while working at the law firm Wilson said that Heyer did not take any vacations during her first two years at Miller Law Group. Heyer left her boyfriend after he made a racist comment about Wilson, an African-American. Heyer lived alone. Her friends described her "as a passionate advocate for the disenfranchised who was often moved to tears by the world's injustices", and said that she "spoke out against inequality and urged co-workers to be active in their community". According to Heyer's mother Susan Bro, Heyer would ask people of opposing views why they had come to their beliefs. Bro said that she and Heyer advocated for Black Lives Matter, which Bro said fights for equal treatment.
“If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.”— Heather Heyer, her last post published on Facebook
Heyer and a longtime friend of hers had agreed not to protest the Unite the Right rally, because they thought it would be too dangerous, but the night before the protests, Heyer felt compelled to go. Heyer was buried in a secret, unmarked location to protect her grave from vandals.
inkjet print, industrially painted daisies
It was a Saturday when the sickness came over Tabitha Haruna again. She threw a tantrum that was predictably violent, heaping insults on her mother and sister and wrecking things in the house they shared before declaring that she was going out to buy tomatoes. She got her Bible and walked off, heading down the dusty roads of the Yalwan Tsakani neighborhood in the northeastern Nigerian city of Bauchi. The next morning, at the entrance to the Muda Lawal market, Haruna was mistaken for a suicide bomber and set upon by a mob. They beat her with sticks until she fell to the ground, then piled car tires and dumped gasoline on her, setting her ablaze in the street as hundreds of people watched. Those who witnessed her death say it was all a misunderstanding. No bomb was found on her body. Her erratic behavior at Muda Lawal, the people there would learn only later, was due to a mental illness that had already cost her a job and a marriage. Now it had cost Haruna her life.
-Al Jazeera America (excerpt)