Adolescence is a period in a person’s life in which one changes from a child to an adult. The ages most commonly agreed upon for this period of life is between 13 and 19, in some opinions, or 10 and 20 in others. It is a period of change: Change in physical shape and size as well as in mentality, all sparked by hormones rushing around in the person’s body. The sexual drive is extremely strong, and the teenager must come to grips with how to handle this urge, depending on one’s upbringing, parental influences, religious strictures, the mores of the society of which one is a part. The urges are in constant battle with the strictures, causing tremendous stress and strain. Not for nothing does the word adolescence come from the Latin word for “suffering.” When a teenage boy challenges his male teacher, the masculinity of each is threatened.
The story, “A Merry Trencherman,” aims to explore a widely held idea about overweight people, which is that they are jolly and carefree, and they know how to enjoy life. Toward the end of the short story, the narrator learns that his obese friend is far from merry, far from happy, even far from contented with his lot. The narrator discovers his friend is deeply dissatisfied with his life because of his condition. It should be obvious to people that obesity cannot march hand in hand with true happiness, yet the stereotype of the merry trencherman endures among many.
The following digital collages intend to question outdated social and cultural norms and behaviors, and stimulate a critical conversation leading to change by liberating human experience from the boundaries of conformism. The artist draws inspiration from music, society, literature, ukio-e, and sci-fi; and often repurposes lighthearted vintage imagery to explore themes such as feminism, mental health, and human interactions.