Gisela McDaniel (b. Bellevue, NE 1995) is a diasporic, indigenous Chamorro artist. Her work is based in healing from her own sexual trauma and reflecting the healing of womxn and non-binary people who have survived sexual trauma. Interweaving assemblages of audio, oil painting, and motion-sensored technology, she creates pieces that “come to life” and literally “talk back” to the viewer upon being triggered by observers. She intentionally incorporates survivor’s voices in order to subvert traditional power relations and to enable both individual and collective healing. Working primarily with womxn who identify as indigenous, multiracial, immigrant, and of colour, her work deliberately disrupts and responds to historical and contemporary patterns of censorship as it relates to the display and exhibition of womxn’s bodies, voices, and stories. She aims to heal those who have experienced gender-based sexual violence, giving a voice, space, as well as a confidential vehicle for survivors to not only share their experiences, but to also explore how those experiences have affected them long-term.
Based in Detroit, she received her BFA from the University of Michigan in 2019. Recent solo and group shows include: Dhaka Art Summit, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2020); Save Art Space, Playground Detroit, Detroit (2019); Lush P(r)ose, Playground Detroit, Detroit (2019); Virago, Detroit Art Babes Collective, Detroit (2019) and Theotokos: New Visions of the Mother God, The Schvitz, Detroit (2018).