Want to Be (New Again)

Artist Statement

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.

In the past 4 years I have been through a process of unmasking, layer after layer, so many parts of myself that I had disowned. It has been painful, excruciatingly so at times, to meet the younger versions of me that have been living homeless all these years. And yet there is also a joyful rekindling of passions thought long dead, new dreams coming into view, but still slightly out of focus.

I keep coming back to these words of Mary Oliver’s. I keep coming back to the body, to this moment. When the agony of untold years of suppressed pain brings me to my knees, I tell myself “you only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.” I ask my body what she wants, and she tells me she is thirsty, she is tired, she longs to be touched. Then I give her what she needs in that moment. Slowly, like an injured pup, she opens to me. Shares a little more about her desires.  I listen. I act. We are building trust between us, we are becoming new again. Whole. One.


GOLDbard is a divergent creative who is sharing their healing gifts with the world through art, writing, and song. Whether performing with their duo Sonicjoy or doing healing work with clients as a trauma recovery coach, their work centers their lived experience in a queer, neurodivergent, fat, trauma survivor body. They believe that the arts are our most powerful tool for personal and collective transformation, and that QUEER JOY is the birthright of every human on this planet. You can find and follow GOLDbard on Instagram at GOLDbardcreative

Created during grunt gallery’s 2023 Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen Digital Storytelling workshops. grunt gallery was founded in 1984 in Vancouver, BC with the vision to become an internationally renowned artist-run centre and further the practice of contemporary art. Through the exploration of our diverse Canadian cultural identity, we are able to offer public programming in the form of exhibitions, performances, artist talks, publications, and other special projects in the community. Our mandate is to inspire public dialogue by creating an environment conducive to the emergence of innovative, collaborative, and provocative contemporary art.

We gratefully acknowledge that we live and work on the unceded, traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) nations.

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