HOME: hold – Aaliyah Crawford

MAY 3, 2020

Our eyes have seen horrors and I
Worry about the children
Who, sheltered from death

Formaldehyde on a grandparent
Funeral where no one can really say they were gone too soon
How can they hold these numbers in their hands

I cannot hold your gaze
Eyes meeting in the place between childhood fears
And statistics a desire
For a positive outlook like asking for ice in this drink
When you’re dying of thirst I just
Can’t be
A voice of calm right now
without lying to myself too

When I dream of a me so small her eyes nearly spill over
From looking up to me I see
That even as she sees my hands shake or my voice quiver,
To meet her gaze is the least I can do.

Self-isolation can heighten feelings of anxiety, loneliness, and depression. In these trying times, don’t hesitate to reach out to others or learn about the services that can help you and your loved ones. To start, here is the complete list of mental health services offered by Concordia University.

“HOME” is a seven part series addressing the personal impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on my mental health. Through poetry and images, I aim to highlight the ways in which self-isolation has altered my relationship with my home and the objects within it. As time morphs into something semi-familiar, I and many others are finding themselves dependent, fixated, or longing for things in new ways. The phone, window, toilet paper all take on new roles in this new version of the day-to-day. Fuzzy images of a ghost-like me, or perhaps a ghost-like us, interact under the oppression of the unknown, and even more under the burden of the known. In this series, I hope to capture the strangeness of this time; its small comforts and heavy pains, to work through our experiences together.

Aaliyah Crawford is a Montreal Undergraduate student in Print Media exploring the themes of privacy, intimacy and abuse. By creating a dialogue between her lived experiences and those of the viewers through imagery, printed objects, installation and text, she attempts to bridge the gap between the innately individual and the universal, connecting viewer and artist through shared vulnerability. Guiding and prompting viewers, the work aims to disrupt, challenge and undermine the toxic and oppressive tropes surrounding all forms of emotional expression within the public, private and personal spheres. Delving into the multiple intersecting oppressive forces that she faces, she underlines the power of remaining soft under these pressures.

You can find Aaliyah’s work on instagram.

An undergraduate
feminist art & art history