Free At Last by Chontelle Shirk
Medium: Pen and pencil
Size: 8.5″ X 11″
Artist statement: Art has always been a way for me to process emotions and abuse associated with my past. Since being incarcerated, I have learned that I may use drawing and writing to have a voice in the community. Through this journey of learning myself and the world around me, art has been a positive factor in my developing a voice. Ibhave been able to gain insight and process situations in a more beneficial way with the use of creative outlets. Discovering that art can be used as a tool not only to promote my own healing, but also as an advocate to inspire change in this world has made me feel excitement and enthusiasm. My drawings represent my entry into the world of incarceration, and the most important aspects of freedom to me, which are the freedom of thought and peace of mind. I can be locked behind walls of stone, steel, and razor wire, but my mind will always be free.
Image Description: The pencil and ink drawing depicts a black and white image of a solo woman. The woman is in the middle of the image, with her arms outstretched on either side of her. She seems to be leaning or ‘floating’ towards the viewer. The woman is depicted with a closed- mouth smile on her face with her eyes closed, as if she is at peace. The woman has a pretty face and swirly black and white hair turning in all directions. The woman is wearing a slim white hoodie and black pants. The background consists of mostly black with a ray of white light on the left side of the image. The woman lies directly in the middle, separating the white and black sides.