Black Lives Matter

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Animation alumni Jessica Barker talks us through her powerful illustration inspired by the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.

Black Angel  with red bleeding heart against white background with caption Black Lives Matter.
Illustration by Jessica Barker

This powerful and timely graphic recently appeared on the social media pages of one of CAT’s 2018 alumni – Jessica Barker, who shares with interFACE the thought process behind it.

“I was troubled with many emotions after viewing the varying responses to George Floyd’s unjust death. Names I had seen in previous years were surfacing again as a result of a very neglected, overdue world issue. I felt very frustrated just sharing and spreading awareness via social media posts and articles. It was limiting and it didn’t feel like it was enough.

I wanted to create an anonymous character that could represent the many lives taken, the families that are broken and the pain and trauma that was spread through the world.

A heartbroken angel came to mind and he was going to be my voice. There are hidden metaphors to represent certain emotions and moods. The definite contrast of black inks on a white canvas were to serve as trauma and scars, and the bleeding heart removed by his own hand was to symbolize an empathetic heartache. I also included the illusion of city lights to bring in a night-time energy, given it’s the cloak of darkness these crimes are often committed in.

I wanted this to hurt to look at and share the same emotions I’ve been feeling.”

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