Boys Can’t Be Abused

Meg Bradsell

Year 11
School: Balcatta Senior High School
Medium: Acrylic paint on perspex

Artist statement: The piece titled Boys Can(t) be Abused is a representation of a young man as victim of rape and abuse. Upon researching gender identity and stereotypes, I found a common theme – that females were almost always depicted as the damsel in distress and men as strong heroes. Females were the victims of sexual assault and violence – it was rare for men to be victims. Mostly they were the ones accused and found guilty. While females were defined as primarily emotional, complicated beings, men weren’t allowed to feel emotions and were shunned from society if they did so. No one should have their pain disregarded on the basis of gender, just as we shouldn’t judge others based on race. Men can be victims too. I tried to achieve an ornamental, almost surreal and beautiful painting in contrast to the dark subject matter. The style was inspired by Del Kathryn Barton who paints ethereal, whimsical people and hybrids in an ornamental way.

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