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Headless Women

if you cut out your eyes with scissors

do you think you would still dream?

tell me who you are and I will listen

widen your toes

lever your weight off your heels

and squat

i am a story

i am a rich pie of strong tasty…something


the politics of being seen


i am lying in wait

i am laying out the bait

intercontinental interpersonal

organic synthetic

rapaciously managing rage

for an extended audience of one

cultivate the art of turning up

turning on

even if no-one remembers or recognises your face

Salome would just chop of Herod’s dick to add to her holy head collection

the me that is not me

that wants to be the me seen by me

a powerhouse femme

all mouth and no trousers

but i like trousers

unsure of how to receive a complimentary insult

where to put it once it is given

one it is spoken

regifted? regift it?


a competition between parts of your/self

legs up the wall

it is becoming abundantly clear that this is a vanishing art

feeling around in the dark for some sense of my body

in space

i will not be eaten

i will be forgotten

unless you save your soul by touching your hole


culturally constructed

fairly traded

verbally produced

entitled little bitch baby

socially signified

power attributed

the mortifying ordeal of being known

for being unknown

shaking spilling out taking up space

a magnificent body

slinking and drooling

a body of work

a body of art

a body of knowledge

where’s your head at?!

where’s your head at?!

where’s your head at?!

where’s your head at?!

where is the ugly in you

are you ashamed to be seen

and to be reconsidering

repetitive motion


performing motion

striking up a conversation

with this body


Virginia Kennard

Headless Women text

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Waves of Thoughts: Amanda Fe Echevarria

Waves of Thoughts

By Amanda Fe Echevarria

I was alone in my sister’s car on Christmas eve. There was a quiet bubbling of guilt that gradually intensified until it felt like a wave crashing over me. I sobbed. It was my first Christmas away from my son. I felt like I failed my son somehow. I am a Filipina, doing an artist in residency program at The Rotorua Arts Village. I am also a solo parent. Visa delays meant my son could not travel with me. Thank heavens for grandparents. 

I had to do some introspection and dissect the guilt that overwhelmed me. This rush of emotion felt like a tidal wave…a tidal wave that crashed into the shores of my art studio. This spilling over of negative emotions ushered the creation of my art piece. Emotions are like waves, fluid, formless, and in constant flux. Never placid. My work is the encapsulation of how formless our thoughts can be. I attempt to capture its endless ebb and flow.  My piece speaks of how I was engulfed by this wave of guilt and how I learned to ride it instead of it crashing into me. Surfers learn to surf by learning the ways of the sea. I too had to learn. Where did this emotion come from? What accusing internal dialogue fueled it? I came into a realization that I have always doubted my ability to mother. I have accused myself many times that I was failing. I justified these accusations by allowing this externally imposed idea of what a perfect mother should be. We all know this. She’s that woman who can clean the bathroom and emerge pristine, with coiffed hair and not a speck of grime on her immaculate face. How can you compete with that? How unrealistic! Thus, I had to sit down and think about what motherhood really means. After arriving at my own definition, I couldn’t help but exclaim, “Hey! I’m actually a pretty good mom!”. I changed my internal script. I rode this wave…victorious.

In my artist residency, I attempted to give my students an opportunity to engage in this kind of introspection and catch their waves….and hopefully figure out how to ride it. It is an uncomfortable process since at one point or another, you’ll have to face yourself…the good, the bad and the ugly. Riding their waves meant they also have to change a negative internal script. They have to rephrase these into positive ones and find creative ways to put it in their works. We still have a few more sessions to go but I’m excited to see the surfers in my class. 

…and oh! My son arrived a week ago.

Images: Helen, a student in my class, taking photos of her work in progress.

Images: Artist/Teacher Amanda’s work in progress