by Terrence Abrahams (art by MARTHA WIRKIJOWSKI)
There is no conclusive research on the percentage of intersex deer in North America. Breeding and eating at roadside weeds like rabbits - it hardly matters how many be or be not. One in one thousand, one hundred thousand, one million, whatever. The point is there is One everywhere. Some does with crowns. Some stags without. The effort too great; the animal too common; the reason too natural. Instead there is the brief wonder of the hunter who brings home a doe with eight tines, calls in a biologist, calls all their friends, calls the local paper, calls it all down to spectacle. And the doe, if that’s what she was, what she couldn’t call herself if she had language, there she is, in her sudden visibility, her wonderful wrongness, her immaculate survival, her beautiful death. Who was she? It doesn’t matter. Not a mother, never would be, as she toed the treeline with her brothers and fought her way to coupling in the rut, though she refused the violent effort of her future. Yet here she is anyway, living on.
Terrence Abrahams lives and writes quietly in Toronto. His work has appeared in the Puritan, (parenthetical), Peach Mag, tenderness, yea, Witch Craft Mag, and many gendered mothers, among others. His work has also gone into being a contemporary Canadian literature MA student, a Libra, and a (formerly) competitive Pokémon TCG player.
(Artist) Martha Wirkijowski's extensive portfolio of oil paintings consist of luminous portraits, landscapes, and still lifes. Her work has been noted for its dramatic use of color light and shadow. Martha's artistic passion takes influence from her polish father and great-grandfather, along with her love for traveling. She was particularly enlightened by the mysterious atmospheres of Amsterdam and Providence, RI and seeks to translate these sensations into her paintings. In 2016, she graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Illustration. During her studies, she further explored the elusive medium of oil paint and continues to devote time in her studio every day.
Artist's Statement, "Made of Stone", Oil on canvas, 24" x 36"
My oil paintings resonate from the influence of my conversations and dreams. My speech mannerisms, which I handle sensitively, are comparable to the ways in which I block in brush strokes in my paintings. The style of my work is mainly focused on simplified colors and shapes; so that I am able to visually communicate with every brush stroke.
Much like many of my recurring dreams, my paintings range from the foreboding to horrific. I create oil paintings that span from suburban landscapes to uncanny subjects such as ghosts and monsters. The tamer subjects look appealing, but become progressively macabre when further inspected; detailed with crooked geometric shapes and infesting shadows. My horror paintings are based off of the disturbing visuals I experienced in my dreams. As dreams are fragments of reality and imagination, the paintings are referenced from collage images and sketches which I then translate through my blocked-in brushwork.