I Could Have Died

Sculpture | 46” x 17” x 12”
I Could Have Died
I Could Have Died
I Could Have Died (detail)
I Could Have Died (detail)
Emily Cunningham

Emily Cunningham


The Weight of Recovery aims to acknowledge and reflect on the mental and physical wounds I developed from my motorcycle accident last summer. The main impact was to the right side of my body where I sustained road rash, bruising, several fractures, and a broken pelvis that required surgery. I attended physical and occupational therapy sessions, using dressing and reaching tools daily. I was bed-ridden before transitioning to a wheelchair, unable to use both legs. I then alternated between a walker and cane until I could walk without assisted equipment. Although I am repaired physically, I suffer from paranoia, anxiety, and flashbacks of the accident when I am in a speeding vehicle or hear engines.

The accident made me feel like I had lost control over myself and what was happening around me. I regain some of that control when using materials that are dependent on how I use them. I combine abstraction and literal objects together to create burdens that represent what my experience looked and felt like in different forms. I use objects from my recovery or create the object myself. Each piece has an abstracted component in their form to emphasize the weight it carries. I explore the relationship with my body both before and after the accident, with each burden I create helping me understand that I am no longer in that state and am constantly improving.

Personal Web Site of Emily Cunningham