BFA Solo Exhibition - Katherine Vernon - Gallery 3
Exhibition Dates: April 5-8, 2022
I'm Going to my Room
t’s difficult to talk about trauma, childhood, and my personal pasts without implicating the individuals that surrounded me. Life is complicated, and I want to stress that I do not place blame on any individuals I mention. For me, it interrupts my healing process if I cannot see the individual as a whole. Decisions commonly tinted by generational trauma, we are all just trying to do what's best at the time. I do not create to condemn, I create as a way of processing my life, and connecting with other individuals through shared experiences.
“I’m Going to My Room” is an exhibition about the pure explosive energy held within young girls, which oftentimes can only be explored from within their safe space. I had several bedrooms growing up, in various sizes and various levels of privacy. I think a lot about my first bedroom, with walls covered in prints of fairies by cicely mary barker, a pink and white floral quilt on my bed, and the dresser my mom painted roses on for me. It was a room of my own, occupied until I was 10 years old. I cried when we repainted the walls before moving, and I remember thinking to myself I didn’t know why, I just felt this deep sadness leaving it behind.
After we moved, I briefly had a new bedroom of my own, but unfortunately, I don’t rememberthat one. My dad was a contractor before I was born so our new home was decided by a family vote to be remodeled. Dreams of transforming this little WW3 ranch into a comfy two-story, big enough for everyone to have their own rooms. The remodeling was never completed and we continued to live in the unfinished construction zone for several years as more and more problems arose. It’s a complicated and messy timeline consisting of moving out and back into the unfinished house several times.
It’s really tough to do manual labor, especially as a girl going through puberty. Each discomfort amplified tenfold. I struggle to remember nearly anything from that period, and much later in life, I realized I began suffering from depersonalization and derealization at this time. I had no control over the circumstances I was living in, and my brain had to protect itself. Anytime things got too stressful, my mind would pull a shoot, creating a foggy atmosphere that feels like anything but reality. An emptiness drifts over me, blacking out my memory. The lights are on but nobody's home.
As a child, our emotions are often so much stronger than we can bear to handle. Like one big explosion of confusion. Unable to discern why you feel that way, what triggered it, even to the point of not knowing what you are feeling altogether. It’s viciously uncomfortable and overwhelming. We don’t always know when we are being taught, our subconscious picks up on behaviors, reactions, and the smallest of social signals. Unaware of the structures that have been put in place to create the rules of the roles we learn to play throughout our life.
There are no right answers. I have learned in life, that I cannot allow the pressure of everyone and everything to impede my search for joy, pleasure, comfort, home, and family. I learn to accept that I am in control of my life now, as an adult, and I cannot let my past interrupt this beautiful moment. Because truly, if this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.