‘Hands In’ is an illustrative/poetry journal that was my artistic reaction to the world shifting and moving through quarantine. It reflects how I changed, how I craved the ability to participate in the world, and how I eventually realized that we all have the ability to act (albeit in different ways than before), despite isolation and separation.
I explore themes of intimacy, belonging/not belonging, duality, loneliness and fear.
My illustrations express the intersection of physical and emotional intimacy that we both had and longed for, as we were challenged by the world and the imposed space that COVID-19 forced us to inhabit. The poems are my accompanying inner voice.
Finally, this series reflects my hope-fueled appreciation for the time/space these terrible circumstances granted me to grow and create––learning to face the new normal we are all experiencing together, while apart.
Quick view of the zine:
Check out the zine here:
My name is Melody Sor-Bopha Gamble, and I am a mixed-race designer and multi-disciplinary artist. Given and chosen family are at the core of everything that matters to me. I create as a reaction to my place within the world, and ground myself in the knowledge that I am a composition of the many influences of those I love/am loved by in return.
I find that every artistic medium and process I work with brings out a unique voice in me. My full creative potential often relies on multiple voices in confluence, expressing my growth and perception of life. All of them are valuable and challenge me to become better at understanding and communicating who I am.
Exploration of belonging is central to my work/my life – I am an Asian-Canadian woman of color who is white-passing – and there are responsibilities to that role, but also imposed limitations that need to be pushed. I crave the opportunity and forum to discuss both the composed and innate existence of dual/multiple intersecting identities within people.
Each aspect of my identity brings something different to the table, which is exemplified in my art practice. Creativity is the celebration of differences as well as belonging – to stand out and set yourself apart is as important as knowing that you also belong to something bigger.