Still bruised, the Biterroise produced a powerful series called “I leave you in your hell”.
With all her sensitivity, Étoile Fredaigues describes her project but also the phases she has just gone through. La Biterroise, drawing teacher and artist, tells “a descent into hell from which she barely emerges”. Words and drawings to draw a “path towards a return to life”.
Victim of domestic violence and control for nearly a year, she chose to express herself through art to get out of it. And help others get by. “My goal is for victims to be able to identify the stages, the first signs, without minimizing them…”
Based on what she has experienced and felt, she has produced twenty large-format drawings, in black acrylic and gold ink. They are accompanied by short poems, “all important” : Genesis, Fascination, Humiliation… The cogs of the grip that dragged Étoile Fredaigues into “ten months of horror”in his words.
“If we don’t talk, it will never move”
On his drawings, we find each time the portrait of this same woman, an avatar “that everyone can make their own”. The designer evokes a chronology: silence, isolation, dissociation, amazement…
His line, his words depict a pattern from which it is difficult to extract: “We forget the traumas, we only remember the beautiful things” so we go back. Then there is “post-trauma stress, collapse”, “we are filled with darkness and pain”. Acute suffering that transpires from the drawing as well as moments of unbearable violence.
“Drawing is my speaking tool”
“I worked on the impact on others. What treated me was drawing, it’s my speaking tool. I said like that what I had experienced. If we don’t talk no, it will never move.” Like the book Women under control, the springs of violence, by Marie-France Hirigoyen, Étoile Fredaigues wants to make this series of drawings an informative and educational medium to free speech, particularly on sexual violence “which are taboo”. “And that’s what breaks you inside.”
Like a headlong rush, she now nourishes and develops this project which she named “I leave you in your hell”. A self-published book should be released at the end of December. But that’s not all. “I would like it to go on a traveling exhibition.” With a first step, perhaps, November 25 in Montpellier, on the occasion of the International Day for the fight against violence against women.
“A Way to Fix Me”
Already hung on the walls of his studio, “these drawings make people react”. The artist therefore wants to go further. “I create an audio medium in which I recite the poems to allow an immersive experience with my voice resonating. It will feel like being inside someone’s head.” “I also chose simple language so that it would be accessible to young people. So that middle and high school students could spot the signs of violence.”
The exhibition could thus travel to schools. “It’s a way to fix me”she concedes. “I also do it for all those who have not spoken, to manage to change mentalities and avoid future victims, to give them back their voice.”
A participatory kitty for a book
Étoile Fredaigues has launched a crowdfunding fundraiser on Ulule to finance the book I leave you to your hell, collection of twenty drawings and their short poems. A work that she wishes with a qualitative paper. “Because people need to find softness.”
This book should be released at the end of December and will be sold for 22 €. To financially support the project, it is therefore possible to participate online on the Ulule website (by searching for “I leave you in your hell”). The kitty aims to collect €9,000, it will be closed in about a month.