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Bat Magic

Once described to me as "the strongest bit of magic you've ever made", my little folded paper Bat was a spur-of-the-moment thing put together in response to the question 'what would keep you safe in the Underworld?'

The short answers is: Bats. Bats keep me safe in the Underworld, when I descend into my darkest moments. They also keep me safe in the light too! They're always with me. My darkest shadows come from experiences of marginalisation as an autistic Aboriginal woman, and so I folded a Bat with all the dark, dirty, ugly experiences on her outside wings and the strengths tucked close to the heart on her inside wings.

It's simple, but true. Bat wings are like a protective umbrella or raincoat that keeps the bad out. I'm safe under there. Safe, and full of strength. The moment I open my wings and I'm ready to fly on my terms, there's a whole philosophy of strength inside me that is like a rush of wind. It holds me up, gives me momentum and direction.

With all the exclusion and hate in the world, it's easy to feel like shit. What is less easy is turning shit into something relentless, determined, and persistant. To drop and fertilise the growth of change and sprouts up from cracks in the concrete pavement, refusing to be held down forever. That's what Bat shit does - it says no to colonial objects that hurt, silence and oppress while saying yes to Country, connections, and life.

That's what this little folded bit of Bat magic represents - the real magic is done by the Bats and by the marginalised masses themselves.

*Artworks and images of artworks belong to Sara Kian-Judge 2021.

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