Oprah Winfrey’s speech at the 75th Golden Globe Awards was a powerful one, galvanising the audience in the ballroom of the Beverly Hills Hilton and beyond. She gave a personal, passionate and comprehensive view of the pressing issues of our time: inclusion, diversity and human dignity, repudiating racial injustice and abuse against women.
Her speech impacted many, and I too was so moved and inspired by her words that I wanted to contribute to the change and the movement. I did this in the way I know best – through art. My sculpture, Times Up, is my tribute to Oprah, and acknowledges the voices of unheard women. It expresses my solidarity as well as honors all the women of the world.
“She lived, as we all have lived, too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men. And for too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up. Their time is up.”Oprah Winfrey
The time has come for the end of gender inequality, sexual harassment and assault. The motivation behind this installation was to depict the progress that society has made to stop these heinous acts, and recognise the progress yet to be made. The installation captures the progress from a fallen Queen besides the King, to equal upright beings, in mind and body. The Queen’s transformation from fallen to equal partner, highlights the Time’s Up movement’s ability to create palpable change in the world around us. Each sculpture is crafted with time pieces of reflective stainless steel. The clock is ticking and there is change to be made, but the onus is on us to make this possible.
The installation begins with a fallen Queen, dethroned from her base, lying on the ground. Beside her, a deep red skull symbolising her anguish and pain. The might of the golden skull stands empowered in the chasms of the King. This is the past, where the sheer imbalance between these two beings allowed for injustice and anguish to prevail.
The installation moves on to depict the red skull, dangling from the base of the Queen. It’s womb, open and exposed in the redness of pain. Still debased and vulnerable, the Queen lies on its side beside the King. The gold of the skull shining bright and infallible, seeping in power and greed. The white and black stone bases beneath playing in stark contrast to each other.
Enough is enough, there is no place for such imbalance in the world. The Queen slowly rises from the ground, in stature and pride, gaining an unheard voice. There is equality, there is balance. The skulls are now suspended in the heads of the pieces – equal in mind and body. They stand together, as companions and partners. The minds are balanced and the harmony prevails. There are numerous strides we still need to make to realise this balance in the world.
The Time’s Up movement fosters this process to come to fruition. The harassment and pain that women suffer has to come to an end. We must stand together in solidarity, to unite and believe in the power of many to change the ill-conceived structures of our society. The time has come to make a change.
“So I want all the girls watching here and now to know that a new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say, ‘Me too’ again.”Oprah Winfrey
Just as Oprah inspired me, I hope this sculpture and video can inspire you to help create change in your communities.
You can watch the video below: