on paper
heather sheehan on paper ink on paper
'her scroll', 2011, prose poem + detail
70 cm x 6 meter/ 28" x 19'
ink on paper

Her

Naked yet proud of her dress.

Unashamed, while so rawly naked, like an old, beautiful elephant that does not know she is exposing herself.

The poignancy of this presses tears from my eyes while she stands, as pleased as a little girl holding the hem of her skirt to show-off how nicely she is dressed to go out. And all the while, she is actually a naked old woman, ravaged by life and birth and work, showing up to be regarded, to be counted, letting it all hang, splaying her flesh outwards like a little girl’s skirt.

Smiling facial muscles betrayed by loose skin, touchable and sovereignly untouchable at once, leaving me to grapple with my embarrassment for her, knowing that I have been taught a definition of womanly beauty that she is breaking.

She does not know that anything is wrong. And, in fact, it is I who am wrong. She stands there, lovingly inviting me to look, to touch, to deal with my misconceptions.

She will be a kind guide, but she will not go away. She will not free me of my discomfort, of my embarrassment on her behalf, on my own, for waiting so long to see this.

Heather Sheehan, 2011

heather sheehan on paper
'her scroll', 2011, prose poem + detail
70 cm x 6 meter/ 28" x 19'

Her

Naked yet proud of her dress.

Unashamed, while so rawly naked, like an old, beautiful elephant that does not know she is exposing herself.

The poignancy of this presses tears from my eyes while she stands, as pleased as a little girl holding the hem of her skirt to show-off how nicely she is dressed to go out. And all the while, she is actually a naked old woman, ravaged by life and birth and work, showing up to be regarded, to be counted, letting it all hang, splaying her flesh outwards like a little girl’s skirt.

Smiling facial muscles betrayed by loose skin, touchable and sovereignly untouchable at once, leaving me to grapple with my embarrassment for her, knowing that I have been taught a definition of womanly beauty that she is breaking.

She does not know that anything is wrong. And, in fact, it is I who am wrong. She stands there, lovingly inviting me to look, to touch, to deal with my misconceptions.

She will be a kind guide, but she will not go away. She will not free me of my discomfort, of my embarrassment on her behalf, on my own, for waiting so long to see this.

Heather Sheehan, 2011
heather sheehan on paper ink on paper
'her scroll', 2011, detail
70 cm x 6 meter/ 28" x 19'
ink on paper
heather sheehan on paper ink on paper
'her scroll', 2011, detail
70 cm x 6 meter/ 28" x 19'
ink on paper
heather sheehan on paper ink on paper
'her scroll', 2011, detail
70 cm x 6 meter/ 28" x 19'
ink on paper
heather sheehan on paper ink on paper
'her scroll', 2011, detail
70 cm x 6 meter/ 28" x 19'
ink on paper
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