Swollen and Scraped, Scattered in Pieces

ILLUSTRATIONS BY CAMILLE TAFT

Editor’s note: The following illustrations were created by Camille Taft for the spring/summer 2022 print publication of Stance on Dance. Camille’s only direction was to create something related to dance and movement. Enjoy!

Black background with whimsical images etched into the background.

i found you swollen and scraped, scattered in pieces

Mixed media, pen and graphite on paper, and digital editing

Bodies are messy, grimy, grotesque, tuned, complex, specific, and unruly. Often, our relationship to our own is much the same. That relationship is informed by intersections of gender, disability, race, positionality, and perception, among much else. I created this piece with the idea that we often meet each other as an accumulation of layered gestures and symbols. I think one type of love is to meet each other with honor towards the uncertain, scattered pieces of ourselves.

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The words "learning to live again and for the first time" with three small symbols over flamelike markings. All is done in graphite against white.

Here Again, Again

Graphite on paper

I drew this during a practice with a few others where we stayed in the same house but stayed wholly silent for two days. I was struck by how unfamiliar it felt to make decisions uninfluenced by obligation, routine, or internal pressure. The two days in themselves were a luxury to be sure; they compelled me to investigate what draws me to do anything: to speak, to doodle, to dance, to love, to act. I hope to be compelled from a rooted place, continuously met anew.

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Cloud-like wisps of white painted against an indigo background.

A Thickness in My Sternum

Watercolor on paper

Once a day, usually in the morning, my sternum pops. It feels like this.

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Camille Taft, a Colorado front range-based mover and visual artist, is obsessed with texture, noise, and motion. Their training spans from the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance and Gibney Dance Center in New York to various projects with Colorado-based artists, not least of which being dancing, planting seeds, and drawing with their housemates. Their primary dreams consist of communal dance and somatic practices informed by disability justice, liberation, and the earth. Follow them on Instagram @si.l.t.

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