In 2017, I ended a 2.5 year relationship with my former partner, and came to understand one of the most important lessons I have ever learned: love needs accountability. And it must be mutual.
In love, accountability means showing up-- for the labor, the inconvenience, the witnessing and the listening. Showing up for oneself, and showing up for others.
Being accountable is a process, not a title. It is knowing your own needs, acknowledging another’s, meeting those needs, or understanding where you can’t.
It is about boundaries, trust, and reciprocity.
This notion of accountability has come to inform my relationship with myself, and likewise those of friends, lovers and others in my community. A web weaved of love is as strong as the ways that we each are able to be accountable to one another. And in this time of wild chaos, fear and turbulence, it is this concept of love and community that gives me inspiration and guidance for the world I want to live in.
For this prompt, I created two compositions to illustrate “Love Needs Accountability.” The first uses a steel sculpture I made this year, whose looping form signifies for me connectivity and continuity, because there is no beginning or endpoint.
The second composition is a collage using illustrations I made of hands, composited onto archival illustrations of parachuters and scientific diagrams of mechanical instruments, as well as other found imagery.
For the text, I used a method inspired by the artist Sister Corita Kent, wherein text is printed, photographed, and manipulated from the photographed image. — Elicia Epstein