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Emerging Visions: Renn Haze

Unpacking Trauma


My thesis is focused on the matter of domestic violence and abuse. I never thought I would be in an abusive relationship and I didn’t know I was in one at first. When people think of domestic abuse, they often focus on violence, but abuse includes any attempt in an intimate relationship to control the other person. The significances of this study for me is to unpack this trauma in the hopes of working through it and to break the silence on domestic violence and abuse.

Each of the paintings represents a different aspect of the abuse that I experienced. My aim was to break down each of these aspects to truly uncover what they meant to me and how it made me feel in the moment but also how it impacted my life.

Painting the skin like stone is a huge element for me. People often ask why fight or flight didn’t kick in. The accepted myth of fight or flight being the only option is just that, a myth. There are many reactions to different situations. My reaction was to freeze, being so terrified I couldn’t even move.

After all was said and done I felt strange, like I should feel better but I felt empty. The last painting in the thesis is a conclusion of sorts. The figure sits in the bathtub with big beautiful flowers above, but she can only see the underside. Gorgeous and unsettling, this painting represents how I feel coming out the other side.