Show 2 : Rachel Thomason

Artist: Rachel Thomason

Medium: Acrylic

Show: Vol. 2

I studied art throughout my schooling and graduated from Winthrop University with a degree in Art History. Afterward, I dedicated myself to working in every medium. From developing film by hand to paper book arts, oil painting to video editing – I’ve found I could release my creativity through all of these efforts and get very personal and real aesthetic results.

I was very touched by this woman’s story. After 9/11 we were all moved as a nation to rally and offer support, but she went a step further by joining the Navy. She made a plan and dedicated herself to the military.

She was assigned to an island paradise to work for the greatest military in the world. Today, women are more likely to be sexually assaulted by a fellow soldier than killed in combat and ninety percent of military assault victims are eventually involuntarily discharged. In an anonymous survey, the military found that over half of all women who have been sexually assaulted do not report their traumas for fear of retaliation.

“Friendly Fire” is an abstract acrylic on canvas. As a woman artist and as a product of two parents who served in the Navy – I approached this piece with a lot of baggage of my own. The work is small and personal, you have to approach this painting closely. The penetration and scarring is dark and forceful. I am thankful to her for sharing her story, in some ways it feels like her experience answers many questions I still carry about my own loved ones.