here is a nun
dancing does the body good
how cool can you get?
imagine a world without this
forever drawn to red
steph and the first flowers
reduce relax recycle
hummin’ & toe tappin’
If the wind is whisperin’
is that song comin’ from?
reference photo by: Fresca Linda
Laura y Rainer
illustration and animation
nothing without joy - 2018
Here’s a series of portraits exhibited at Hi-Lo Press in Atlanta, GA, March 2018.
The words Nothing Without Joy came to me through a friend on a day that I needed it. It also came as a quote from the early education teachings of Loris Malaguzzi. The idea that learning should always be accompanied by joy. It kept coming back to me as a mantra and a tool. A reminder to reflect on blessings. Intent as a daily practice.
I’ve met many of the folks in this series of portraits through recent years of latinx empowerment. We share a need to resist oppression, and a need to thrive within our own culture. Our identities are a fluid and wide encompassing spectrum. We are tangled somewhere between the past and the future.
It’s 2018 and sometimes I’m certain the world is declining. Months go on and on, weeks feel longer, and everyday I’m witnessing more and more struggle. Life holds compartmentalized facets of my existence, everything is separated between sharp swings of either calm or calamity. The world is shifting towards a scary place and it’s the everyday joys that keep us sane and healthy.
Nothing without joy.
This series is a product of street harassment and my attempt to have a healthy confrontation with it.
Do you have a problem about something? Are you angry? If it’s giving you anxiety then you need to make something of it, right? And I don’t mean act on the anger but create from it. For a long time, I was an angry victim of everyday sexism. It ate me up from the inside out until one day I imploded. Luckily, like anything else in this periodic universe, the implosion was only temporary. The new danger was returning to the cycle of anxiety, the one that spins like a free falling wheel poisoning my mind with hateful and angry thoughts. This was not the empowerment that I was looking for. I wanted long lasting satisfaction instead of heated and unstable satiation.
And so I redirected my pent up apprehension into dabs of paint and scribbles on paper. I feel way better now.