Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba

Including artists and audiences with disabilities into all facets of the arts community.

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body horror vignettes – lita b.

This is a poster advertising the show of drawing/painting artist lita b. In the center of the poster are the show details, written in lilac font on a peach background: “body horror vignettes” lita b. opening June 3, 2022. 102-329 cumberland ave. Winnipeg, and aanm.ca/online-exhibitions/.” Below this text are the logos for Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba and Canada Council for the Arts. The top half of the poster is occupied by a portion of one of lita b.’s paintings: the background is a pale peach, rose, and yellow sky, with chubby white clouds floating serenely. Contrasting with the serenity of the background is a figure, front and centre. The figure appears to be a doll-puppet, with light blue ‘flesh’ and visible sewing seams. The only facial features on the bald head are two eyes; a tear rolls down from each. From a defect in the skull, a family of spiders emerges and descends to the shoulder. The figure is wearing a plain teal corset and orange skirt. Ribbons from the top of the image are attached at the neck and wrists. In the bottom of the poster is a portion of another of their paintings: A yellow figure holds the small pink lifeless body of a baby faun, with three bloody arrows emerging from its torso.

bio

This is a photo of artist lita b. They are a Black femme, with long curly lavender-coloured hair. lita has a big friendly smile and is wearing glasses. They have a septum piercing and small tattoos on their collarbone and breastbone.lita b. (they/she) is a self-taught multimedia artist currently residing in Ontario’s Durham Region. lita is a self-ascribed Mad/disabled Black queer spoonie. lita uses art as a means of catharsis for themselves and others with a focus on other Black queer Mad/disabled femmes as a way to find relationship through experiences where they do not see themselves represented.

artist statement

lita’s paintings are a conversation about how one’s experiences of trauma are played out on both the body and mind, and about our relationship to both. Memory is imprinted on each of us; the way these memories and experiences move through us is something that the artist is currently fascinated with. Lifelong experiences with trauma have resulted in body memories being expressed through specific “body issues.” Art has therefore become an important way in which lita tries to reconcile with their chronic illness/chronic pain and Madness. These paintings are particularly impactful when thinking of the way Black femmes experience their bodies and minds. Already marginalized in the context of race and the various ways they express their gender, Black femmes are neglected in discussions of disability and Madness. Seeing themself represented in the art they consume has always been a specific wish of lita’s and so with this body of work they hope to connect back to themselves and all other Black femmes who identify with the themes discussed in these pieces specifically.

While the original paintings are not for sale, prints are available for purchase. Please contact the artist at litabarts@gmail.com to inquire.  

This is a pen drawing colourized with watercolour and guache. We see a close-up from above of a koi pond, with large flat green lilypads and rosey waterlily flowers. Two curious orange fish curiously approach the centre figure, small and white, who is curled in fetal position atop the lily pads, hands covering face. From a gaping round mouth with ragged yellow teeth in the figure’s back, a delicate yellow hand reaches out to explore the environment through touch.
Lazurus on baptism
9″x12″
2022
watercolour, fine liner, gouache
NFS(prints available)
This is a pen drawing colourized with watercolour, coloured pencil, and guache. Against the stark background of a dark blue triangle on a field of black lies a headless sickly pink torso. The arms are severed into separate parts like cuts of meat, and the hands are gone. From a throat-to-crotch incision, sickly green spikes emerge, and also from the neck stump.
Pestilence
5″x7″
2021
watercolour, fine liner, gouache, acrylic pen
NFS(prints available)
This is a pen drawing colourized with watercolour and guache. In a night scene with a star-studded sky, a decapitated ghostly figure sits on an arid ground. Red flames emerge from the neck stump. The head is clasped tightly on its lap. The eyes and mouth are open but reveal only black hollows and a sad expression.
How to leave when your body is a forest fire
5″x7″
2021
watercolour, fine liner, gouache, pen
NFS(prints available)
This is a pen drawing colourized with watercolour and guache in bright colours. At the very top of the painting is a door slightly ajar; a mass of green slime with five eyeballs oozes into the room. A woman with purple skin and red hair in a ponytail lies sleeping on a bed with hands in prayer position and an anxious look on her face. A large red devilish hand with sharp fingernails at the top of the painting holds strings with hooks that attach to the sleeping figure’s orange dress, ripping it in an attempt to lift her. In the bottom half of the painting, we see the same woman underwater, mouth agape as she loses bubbles of air. She frantically reaches for the surface, as red arms from the coral reef below bind her and pull her down.
A question of memory
9″x12″
2022
watercolour, fine liner, gouache
NFS(prints available)
This is a pen drawing colourized with watercolour, coloured pencil, and guache. In the foreground stands a yellow figure, with human body except that from the shoulders emerge not one, but two necks, each supporting not human, but faun heads. The fauns are crying and looking in opposite directions to the sides. The figure holds the small pink lifeless body of a baby faun, with three bloody arrows emerging from its torso. In the background we see a small shack going up in flames which reach towards a giant blank white moon in a starry night sky.
Inner child
9″x12″
2021
watercolour, fine liner, gouache, coloured pencil
NFS(prints available)
This is a pen drawing colourized with watercolour, coloured pencil, and guache. On a cloudy moonlit night, a giant female figure with purple skin and a plain green dress towers over two burning buildings. The figure is holding a bright red watering can and pouring green water onto one of the fires.
The haunt in your family’s blood
9″x12″
2022
watercolour, gouache, fine liner, coloured pencil, pen
NFS(prints available)
This is a pen drawing colourized with watercolour, coloured pencil, and guache. A light blue figure drags itself across a green and brown landscape, barren except for a couple patches of bright-capped mushroom and tall grass. Arising from the figure’s back by stretched lines of flesh is a brown wood edifice with green vegetative roofs. The round windows show warm yellow light from within. From an organic purple chimney, three eyeballs float upwards on white tendrils, towards pleasant white cumulous clouds.
Parasite
9″x12″
2021
watercolour, fine liner, gouache, coloured pencil
NFS(prints available)
This is a pen drawing colourized with watercolour, coloured pencil, and guache. In a pale blue and violet landscape, larger than life lollypops grow, and pastel-frosted cupcakes and ice-cream cones stud the ground. A colourful gingerbread house peaks out from behind a frosted hill. The scene is bathed in the light of a full moon. In the foreground, a crying yellow figure looks downward dejectedly. Its arms and legs are sectioned like meat, bloody at the site of each cut. One of the feet is stuck in the pink frosting of a large cupcake, and one arm emerges from a minty mound of melting ice-cream. The figure’s centre is fleshless, revealing a metal cage filled with blue bunnies instead of vital organs. Blood drips down the thighs from the cage.
Notes on a loss of innocence
9″x12″
2022
watercolour, fine liner, gouache, coloured pencil
NFS(prints available)
This is a pen drawing colourized with watercolour, guache, and coloured pencil. The background is a pale peach, rose, and yellow sky, with chubby white clouds floating serenely. Contrasting with the serenity of the background is a figure, front and centre. The figure appears to be a doll-puppet, with light blue ‘flesh’ and visible sewing seams. The only facial features on the bald head are two eyes; a tear rolls down from each. From a defect in the skull, a family of spiders emerges and descends to the shoulder. The figure is wearing a plain teal corset and orange skirt. Ribbons from the top of the image are attached at the neck and wrists, mirroring tendrils emerging from between the legs, which are held in the mouths of three dark birds at the bottom of the scene.
An issue of blood and other stories
9″x12″
2022
watercolour, fine liner, gouache, coloured pencils
NFS(prints available)
This is a pen drawing colourized with watercolour, coloured pencil, and guache. Front and centre, a yellow figure kneels, facing us, with arms clasped behind its back. The head is round, bald and featureless, except for one giant eyeball, wide open. The eyecolour is pink. Six blue hands reach from behind the figure, groping its body. Two birds swoop down to alight on the figure, clutching it with white claws.
Taste corruption on your body and gorge
9″x12″
2022
watercolour, fine liner, gouache, coloured pencil
NFS(prints available)

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