Nearly two years ago, local artist Barbara Brown Conrod had an opportunity to participate in an art show specifically to shed light on the issue of sexual assault after the Rehtaeh Parsons case became national news.
Parson’s grandmother, who lives in Pictou County and is an artist herself, brought some artists together to hold a show shedding light on sexual assault. It was titled Be the Change.
“It was kind of a heavy topic; usually I do still lives and that sort of thing,” said Brown Conrod.
To prepare for creating her pieces, Brown Conrod collected newspaper articles about Parson’s case and began a painting by cutting out the words “no means no” from box board and stuck them to canvas. The final result was a painting with the words “no means no” camouflaged behind a collage of articles about the Parsons case and blowing papers in the wind.
Her second piece was a white vinyl record with “no means no” written in cursive repeatedly and mounted on an-all white vintage record player.
After holding on to the pieces after the show, Brown Conrod decided it was time to do something with them.
“They should be somewhere they can help somebody,” she said.
After contacting Parson’s mother, it was recommended to Brown Conrod that the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre may be the best place for the pieces.
“She was really moved and pleased that I would offer that to her,” said Brown Conrod.
She delivered the pieces to the center early this December.
“Being a woman I’ve witnessed sort of first hand domestic violence,” she said.” Speak against it whenever I can.
By sharing her pieces, she hopes that it will make it easier for people of all ages to be able to talk about tough issues like this, as well as taking a dark subject and making something good come from it.
“It’s 2016 and there’s still not enough change.”