Journal: Fix Your Gaze

Mina Ganguly-Kiefner 


(she/THEY)
Website︎︎︎




I am twenty-seven years old. I was born in Vermont, but my family moved to Florida when I was eight Then I came back up here for college and have remained ever since. I don't really enjoy crowded places, so Vermont was an ideal place for me to live.

I love living in Vermont, but I have dealt with my fair share of racism, which makes it hard. I think Vermont is trying to get better, but it is too early for me to get a good sense of the direction Vermont will go that makes it a place where BIPOC feel like they belong. For this reason, it kind of depends on the situation whether or not I feel supported by the Vermont community. I do not feel like I have visible representation here. I live in an area of Vermont that has a pretty good art community (Rutland), but I don't really encounter any BIPOC artists in my area. I feel that representation is important to me, and even though I don't know many BIPOC artists in Vermont, I am happy to be one of them.

I think Vermont is trying to get better, but it is too early for me to get a good sense of the direction Vermont will go that makes it a place where BIPOC feel like they belong.
I consider myself creative because I have Aphantasia, which means I have no mind's eye, and yet I still desire to create worlds of my own that I cannot see. So, when I create, I must rely on forms that express the feeling I am going for without actually being able to visualize them. Of course, I can work from references, but there is something freeing about being able to look at a piece and sayi, "Yes, this is joy," without analyzing how closely it matches what I envision since I can't see what it is supposed to be. It is like making art based on what someone describes to you, but that someone is your inner dialogue.

I am a multimedia artist, so I like throwing multiple things together to make a piece. I like to say that because I am an artist, it means I do a little bit of everything: photography, sculpture, ceramics, drawing, painting, writing, welding, etc. I like to explore it all, and I like my art to reflect that. I don't know what it would look like if my art was my full-time job. Sometimes I get scared that I will fall out of love with art if it is my full-time job, or that I will fail, but I think everyone feels that way. I have learned a lot in the last year and the thought is becoming less scary to me.

Lizzo puts me in a creative mood, and I am obsessed!