It Could Have Been Worse

Sculpture | 24” x 9” x 10”
It Could Have Been Worse
It Could Have Been Worse
It Could Have Been Worse (detail)
It Could Have Been Worse (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