Size (h w d): 30 x 20 x 1.5 in
Medium: Oil On Canvas wrapped on solid wood board
Our protagonist is seated in front of her mirror, seeing the real version of herself. She has removed the mask she wears for others. In the mirror, she sees the things she wished for but did not receive. She wanted to be the free soul in the swing. She's surrounded by the birds holding keys - the opportunities she missed in life. Instead, her life has been controlled by the little man in the box. She no longer wants to be controlled, so she has broken the mirror to reveal the machine beneath. Her dress color matches the sunset in the mirror, showing that this era of her life is closing, she can move on, and now she can take advantage of all the opportunities in front of her.
This piece is autobiographical for Rusul. As an Iraqi refugee, Rusul's early life was dictated by others as she had to flee her home for Syria and ultimately the United States. She missed out on many opportunities in her early life, but took advantage of opportunities once she was in the US and had the freedom to make her own choices. Note the clock that is her chair highlights the number "8," and this is representative of 2008, the year that Rusul arrived in the US.