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Bouquet III

Gabrielle Goliath
Bouquet III, 2007
Triptych of archival prints
3 pieces, each 26 x 130 cm

Any victim of abuse is in a sense ‘canonised’ in that brutal moment – their innocence amplified by the violent actions taken against them. The use of flowers in Bouquet I and Bouquet III is significant, being in general synonymous with suffering, sympathy, and even romance. Here they become symptomatic: of screaming, vomiting, a silent but aggressive personal dialogue. In effect an iconography of the internal and private trauma of abuse. The video piece Bouquet II does not make use of this symbolic device, but text rather. Within an ornate gold frame the artist’s mother appears five times out of darkness. With each appearance a name is spoken, appearing as white text in a black box over the subject’s mouth. These names: Edith, Anne, Mary, Cecilia and Agnes are the kind of names associated with aunts and family friends (reminiscent of the artist’s childhood and background), and yet they are also the names of saints. As these names are spoken, the tail-end of each is unnaturally sustained so that eventually five separate tones simultaneously play in discord. As the imagery and text fades to black an individual letter from each name remains, spelling out in scrambled form the word ‘saint’.