Dismantle the System
- Becky McIntyre
6” x 6”, linocut print, 2021.
This piece, Dismantle the System, is a reflection on how abolition work happens from both outside of the system and from within the system. It is about dismantling systems of oppression both inside ourselves and around us, while we reimagine a new way forward. We are still chained to and living in these systems that we want to dismantle, yet we are also taking them apart as we continue to grow and rebuild. We take them apart from the outside, the hammer, as well as break them apart by working within them, shown by the flowers breaking apart and crumbling the wall. Abolition is working amongst the chaos, unleashing a radical new form of community, imagination, and dreaming. What we are stepping into is both already here and not yet, at the same time. It’s not something that we have all figured out yet – but that’s the beauty of it because it allows space for difference and unknown and presence. The experience and work of abolition is visceral and somatic – it is an embodied practice – demonstrated by the physical and emotional work of both destroying and rebuilding being done by the character and her community in the flowers.
I’m an artist currently living in Philadelphia, traveling around and finding spaces to create, grow, reflect, and connect – fueled by building community with others in the process. For me the creative process is spiritual – it allows me to reflect through my interior self and my experiences, to express what’s going on in the outside world, and to meet and work together with so many incredible people – all the places where I find the Spirit resides. I work mostly in the mediums of painting, mural making, and linocut printmaking, and my themes often emerge from reflections on current happenings, on hope and justice, on breaking bread with community, on growth, and on nature, and on digging my hands in the dirt under the sun.
I often engage in and facilitate spaces of art and reflection with the various communities I have lived in around the world in Nicaragua, the Philippines, Peru, Philly, and Los Angeles. I’ve always painted and explored various art forms since I was a kid, but within the past year I started getting more into lino cutting. Linocuts are a popular art form in the tradition of the Catholic Worker Movement that I got into after living for a second time at the Los Angeles Catholic Worker last summer. Each piece, hand carved in linoleum block and ink printed by hand, uniquely reflects my own growth and experience at a particular moment, that is connected and relevant to current social and spiritual movement because I believe art can help facilitate transformative healing and justice practices. I love when people find meaning in my work and connect it to their own lives and spirits – and I love to share my images and story with folks when my work speaks to them. The name, sanaartista, comes from the Tagalog (Filipino) phrase “Sana all” meaning “I hope all” and the Spanish word “artista” meaning artist. More at @sanaartista.