These genre-defying bookworks helped to fortify her independent artistic vision, which has since catapulted her onto the international stage. Staying up all night photocopying her drawings, collating and stapling them at home to be handed out anywhere and to anyone, meant freedom from art-world sanctioned venues of presentation: the drawings were imperfect, confrontational, urgent. The small book format was perfect for spilling all sorts of dirty and hilarious secrets. The works were mini stories of major subjects, unfolding in a beautifully paced sequence of revelations. Witness My Shame re-presents the majority of these bookworks as a graphic novel. Each one forms a chapter, a visual story which is part of a larger sequential narrative. The original flashbulb moments of hidden shame and pain are presented as they were created, resisting all urges to polish or elaborate, in the service of maintaining the spontaneous energy of the drawings.
In this unique collection, Shary Boyle creates images of childhood and adolescence, exploring issues of power, gender, sexuality, and dysfunction. With Witness My Shame Boyle critically and humourously examines our relationships with ourselves, with our families, and with our culture. In so doing she underscores the poignant fragility of our very humanity.