An attempt at creating a visual symbol of the queer body processing trauma, a non-normative body that is subject to ongoing trauma. The keywords that surround the graphic element relate directly to the experience of working through trauma through non-normative sexual practices, or BDSM. The symbol created as a hybrid of meristems, i.e. plant-building tissues (which enable growth and division) and galls: plant tissues processed and controlled by non-plants. Galls are distinctive plant structures formed by certain herbivorous insects as their own microhabitats. These growths are called galls after the Latin galla (oak apple) or cecidia, from the Greek kikidion, meaning anything that gushes.
The title of the work derives from Jan Brzechwa’s poem for children “On the Isles of Bergamut” from 1945. In the 1950s, an anonymous censor described Brzechwa’s work as: “anthropomorphization, one of the worst kinds at that”. The reality presented in this poem can be considered a utopia. It is a metaphor, a state impossible to attain.
According to the principles governing therapy, trauma can only be worked through by people who are already safe. So what is there to do for those whom the world offers no foundation for safety?