Mining the Hippocampus

A painter’s reaction to Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment

Mining the Hippocampus, oils on birch panel, 16x16in, 2018 - by the author

This piece started without the second transparent figure, and only after I changed the hand position, did I paint her in. Until then I wasn’t quite sure of what this painting meant to me, but I began it while digesting the recent Ford/Kavanaugh case. When I was watching those testimonies, I was especially struck by the prosecutor’s and judiciary committee’s use of time and the general fallibility of memory as an excuse to deny someone’s traumatic experiences, even though our brains form traumatic memories differently. Some on the committee even claimed to believe Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony, only taking an exception to who her attacker was. Their refusal to accept the clarity and accuracy of her memory, while willfully rearranging the known relationships between PTSD and memory formation was another loop in the tired, but hopefully dying merry-go-round of silencing survivors.