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HIV Does Not Define Me


Creating and working with images of strength and pleasure highlighted the multiple aspects of artists’ lives, and how they are much more than their diagnosis:

“So, you know, you’re ill and then you do your healing, like through the sand picture, and then you go “Well actually, life’s great, you know.” And you can sit there and do nothing, and go “Poor me, I’m sick or whatever”, or you can actually get out and do things and enjoy life and even if it’s in a small way, because I haven’t always been able to do things in a big way. Do all those things that give me pleasure, you know. Like sewing and everything like that. And it’s amazing what things can turn into. Like I’ve had this time with not much to do. I’ve been doing more sewing in my life. I’ve started to learn things like Morse code. Can you believe it? It’s awesome. I’d never have thought of that. And, it’s like, if you’re staring at the ceiling because you’re ill, then you don’t go out and explore things and do things.” Agatha spent a lot of time looking at hospital ceilings when she was first diagnosed and, in this work, she flips the ceiling to make a dance floor and draws a dancing shoe on it.