Comfort in Nausea is a show addressing topics of
depression, processing grief, and the journey to self
acceptance. These pieces are a documentation of my
emotions, making tangible and visually recognizable
the complex feelings of not wanting to die anymore.
This then gives birth to the overwhelming realization
that I have a lot of years left to live. I only got to this
point by sitting with myself and working mentally to
build a foundation that would lead to contentment
and happiness – a lifelong journey that is not linear.

This involved discontinuing the head-on approach of
“dealing with” my sadness, opening up to my loved
ones, and starting therapy and antidepressants.

Adapting to a comfortable existence in my tacky-dark-
sludge brain of sadness, and in the acceptance of

this nausea, joy does not seem so far.
I used to see my brain as a dark kenophobic place,
but it guides me to infinite possibilities, power, and
paradise. Temporary, faked joy will be a thing of the
past. My genesis is me, my Garden of Eden is in
my head. I feel like I can be god in my mind, and so
can anyone. Rather than subject people to my anger
and pain as the Christain god did, I wish to be the
benevolent and forgiving god that I was promised in
church, for myself and others. I simply want to find
peace within myself to have the capacity to help my
community do the same.

My work consists of portraying vulnerability and the
melancholy of existence through a fidgety relationship
between myself and animals. I use the depiction
of animals, most often sheep, unicorns, donkeys,
and snakes, in contrast to their use in Christianity
to subvert the meaning attached to them. What
prevented me from my journey of healing sooner was
the weight of conservative Catholic guilt, convincing
me this suffering was part of God’s plan. Ascribing a
new meaning to these animals propagates paradise
and revelations in my own mind. These creatures are
now animals of comfort, rather than voices reminding
me of my demise.
Despite the heavy topics addressed in this show,
whatever your first impressions are of the pieces
are valid ones, whether birth or nudity makes one
uncomfortable, or a goat pissing or cherub’s dicks

makes another giggle. Tackling depression and
human emotions is so complex. We must work to
destigmatize depression and the paralysis of mental
illness that western capitalism has criminalized and
scrutinized. The subjective journey of our mental
health is in itself beautiful, and despite a constant
force of loneliness, I feel connected to everyone
in this way. With consistency, this feeling of hope
and excitement to make a life for myself will not be
temporary. Our pain does not need to be our Helicon,
and our purpose is not to feel sadness forever.

Written by Avia Rose,
Edited by Mayce Keeler and
Bella Ross
Photos by Sam King
Thank you to Swish Projects