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Colour Me Ungrateful, 2017

Metal, Fabric

Dimensions Varied 

Colour Me Ungrateful is a recreation of a scold's bridle. A scold’s bridle is an ancient torturous device that has a history of silencing people–especially women– who have said things that were out of line and thus required punishment. The person would wear the object and insert the gag in their mouth for a certain amount of time depending on their crime and the severity of whatever it is that they had said. While this device sounds medieval and surreal now, its mission still exists although the object has gone instinct. From my experience as a translator, I found that many of the social workers I worked with, while having good intentions, were very deliberate on what the refugees were allowed to say or not to say. If the refugee was in any way showing a desire to not learn English or a frustration with the fact that they would rather be in their country of origin, the social worker would be quick to confide in me how terribly ungrateful said refugee was and how odd it is that they can’t be thankful that Canada has accepted them with such gracious, kind and open arms. The ghost prints are a study of the object, and a re-imagination of its existence in the 21st century.

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