Consensual Humans mural driving positive conversations about consent

‘A Love That Clings’ can be seen on the front side of Harrison-LeCaine Hall

The mural sends several powerful messages to all who see it.
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Last summer, Queen’s Consensual Humans Club commissioned the creation of a new mural now visible on the front of Harrison-LeCaine Hall. ‘A Love That Clings’ is meant to encourage those who view it to think about consent—across all definitions and spectrums.

The Journal spoke with the previous Consensual Humans co-chairs, Megan Sieroka, ArtSci ’21, and Maeve Avis Kozar, ArtSci ’21, as well as artist Niki Boytchuk, ArtSci ’23, about the mural’s creation.

“The real aim of the project is to be a community-centred celebration of consent,” Sieroka said in an interview.

“We really want it to be a positive, uplifting piece of art. We want to make students, faculty, staff, and the community at Queen’s more comfortable talking about consent and interacting with topics of consent.”

Avis Kozar stated that the Consensual Humans team worked closely with Queen’s Sexual Violence Prevent & Response office on the mural. All involved parties were adamant about commissioning a student artist for the project.

“We wanted to have student voices represented, especially because [the mural] was going to be on campus and student’s were going to see it all the time,” she said.

Consensual Humans worked with a selection committee to choose the right artist for the job. They evaluated a high volume of submissions from a wide variety of students before ultimately commissioning Boytchuk.

“A friend sent me [the call for submissions], and I looked into it and thought it was pretty cool,” Boytchuk said.

“Over the past year, I’ve gotten into graphic design, and I knew I had a portfolio that I could send-off. I think I spent a month on [the mural].”

Boytchuk expressed how much research and thought went into the mural. She acknowledged that turning the topic of consent—and its layers and intricacies—into uplifting visual art proved itself to be a challenging task.

“When I was searching the web, I wanted to see everything that was out there about consent,” Boytchuk said.

“[I found] some really incredible pieces that were important and served a purpose, but I always walked away feeling really low. I needed to make something that was going to be a positive experience.”

When it came time to make the mural, Boytchuk drew inspiration from how her peers responded to an anonymous social media survey she created about consent.

“That was a very key part of my process—I would go back and constantly read the responses,” she explained. “Some of them were difficult to read, and there were people who had concerns about [the mural]. Those were the ones I was thinking of in the back of my head.”

“I wanted to make sure it served them, and not just those who were excited about it.”

The finished product speaks for itself. ‘A Love That Clings’ is primed to spark meaningful discussion about love, respect, intimacy, and consent. The sharp lines and vibrant colour palette deliberately pop against a grey-brick backdrop.

Boychuk’s accompanying artistic statement expands on the mural’s various elements. This includes the honeysuckle flower, which represents bonds of love across cultures.

“A love that clings without harming anyone,” it reads.

The full statement and photos are available on Queen’s Consensual Humans website.

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