Daddy I was STRONG

Daddy I was strong

And so on this, International Human Rights Day, 16 days of activism draws to a close. To mark the occasion, I’ve just sketched this work inspired by this story related by LvA volunteer Jessica Searle. There’s just something about that 12 year old girl that grabs me. How after all she went through – kidnapped and raped at knife point by her teacher, an adult she should have been able to trust – she was able to work through her fear. “Daddy, I was fine,” she says at the end of her ordeal.  “I was STRONG!”

And those are the words I have used.

The pose of the girl echoes The Phoenix and draws, deliberately rather than accidentally this time, on the work of Amy Cuddy. I use it whenever I need to feel powerful and I don’t (which is often). While painting this, I came across a bright pink lipstick and decided to use it. I’ve largely kept pink out of the paintings for LvA because I don’t like the idea of reproducing stereotypes. Yet somehow, here, it lifts this work into a realm that stirred me from panic to joy. I really did have a panic attack while painting it, because I couldn’t get it right. And then one flash of colour and everything changed.

I’m inspired by this child. Let’s turn 16 days of activism for no violence against women and children into 352.

A donation to Lawyers Against Abuse will help do exactly that. They helped this child, and they could help so many more like her.

Donations to LvA can be made either by EFT or

  • Account Name: Legal Centre for Gender Based Violence Association
  • Bank: FNB
  • Branch Name: 4 Merchant Place
  • Branch Code: 200607
  • Account Number: 62333686345
  • Swift Code: FIRNZAJJ
This entry was published on December 10, 2012 at 2:45 pm. It’s filed under The Paintings, The Stories and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “Daddy I was STRONG

  1. Pingback: An entirely irrational narrative of ridiculous joy

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