Tuesday, April 12, 2011

PEN Canada Campaign Part II

"Then said David to the Philistine,Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied...And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came, and drew nigh to meet David, that David hastened, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth."
Samuel I: 45, 48-49

The second part of a mock illustration campaign for PEN Canada, a mailer. After several trials, I worked with the slingshot to promote an optimistic message regarding free expression, especially when applied to politically active women in dictatorial regimes. Unlike any other weapon, the slingshot is a powerful symbol. It was the means used by the Biblical David to defeat the menacing giant Goliath. With the slingshot, she is “throwing words in her defense” or rather employing 'words as her weapons'. I abandoned an earlier idea that involved the act of stoning because I started to re-evaluate the extent of damage caused by having one’s rights revoked as opposed to physical abuse itself. There is no contest. Loss of freedom is far worse than temporal physical harm. Rather than deflecting stones being thrown at her, her words are her stone/weapon. The slingshot is the catalyst to releasing this unstoppable force of expression, like physics with a stone.

We were asked to produce a potential merchandise item that reflected the aesthetic of our poster design. Given the convenience of its shape, I chose to represent my Burqa woman on a Russian doll which encases pens.

My faithful companion in all of this, despite being of little help? My tubby feline Mia. She woke to greet me for every morning of intense painting.

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