From childhood, I expressed my identity through clothing. I was often criticized for being “too much”, for my style and personality being louder than my family or community felt was appropriate. I was labeled as “weird” for my affinity for gender-bending outfits or to show my style with a trash bag skirt paired with an Angora sweater. Despite my enthusiasm for my personal expression this did leave me feeling alone sometimes.
When I first heard the word bisexual my spiritual identity came into focus and the way I expressed myself (as a femme/tomboy) suddenly made sense. I was no longer the black sheep - I was bisexual, a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
As an adult, I’ve expanded my interest in personal fashion to my fascination with historical garments. I observed there was gender-bending throughout the ages, such as with Victorian dresses which had womanly skirts and curves while the bodices were tailored like menswear.
Along with a profound desire to be understood, which constantly impacts how I move through the world, my sexual identity and its expression have galvanized me into an authentic self. From here, I’m able to make work that I hope speaks to other queer women, and beyond.
Ara Lucia’s work explores the longing of a bisexual woman (Ara) in a relationship with another woman (Her) who exists in another dimension. Through visual storytelling, Ara explores their struggles to locate one another across the universes and remain connected.
Together, they experience a profound sense of intimacy, acceptance, and grace. These explorations then connect Ara to a wider community of queer women, which has been profoundly healing.
Illustrating this narrative through mixed media (ink, charcoal, oil pastel, pen, and pencil), some materials can be blown away, signifying motion and fluctuation. Additionally, Ara suffers from a tremor, making it difficult to draw details in the fluidity of ink. Together, this fluidity and lack of control over materials depict the fleeting control the women feel over their ability to find one another or maintain meaningful connections.