By Jess MacCormack, 2020
Growing up with early childhood trauma Jessica developed new friends in her mind to help her survive. As the years passed, parts went their separate ways tearing her apart. Eventually Jess took over to find their way through the adult world. But can they survive being crazy?
Content includes descriptions of child abuse, sexual assault and mental illness.
SHAME SHAME, go away, my second graphic book, came about as I felt the need to speak out about trauma, mental illness and dissociative identity disorder (DID). Much like the childhood sexual abuse I experienced, I always felt my diagnosis was a dirty little secret, and it has been a cause for much shame.
Inspired by my young friend Mia, I began painting again. After I decided to create this book, I painted watercolours every day for over a year. Themes of tears/rain, death, devils, bunnies, dicks, sadness, injured bodies, bleeding mouths, rainbows and green foliage emerged and repeated. Words were painted on these pages to express the raw feelings coming forth, but when I went to actually write the book the stories were disjointed and hard to sit with.
And very hard to edit. I am very grateful to Oliver, Evan, Tali and my mom for all their help editing these stories and helping give the writing some form. I worked with graphic designer (and small press publisher) Erica Wilke to bring the images and text together. Working with Erica was a dream, as she was calm and consistent throughout our extensive and difficult work together.
-Jess MacCormack, 2020
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.
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Jess MacCormack’s art practice engages with the intersection of institutional violence and the socio-political reality of personal trauma. Working with communities and individuals affected by stigma and oppression, they use cultural platforms and distribution networks to facilitate collaborations which position art as a tool to engender personal and political agency.
Jess Mac’s digital work has been shared through various online platforms, such as VICE Creator’s project, PAPER Mag, Art F City and even the Obama administration’s White House Tumblr. Their animations have been screened internationally at festivals such as the Ottawa International Animation Festival, MIX-26 the New York Queer Experimental Film Festival, Transcreen Amsterdam Transgender Film Festival, LA Film Fest at UCLA, Inside Out, Imaginative Film Festival and International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA).