This work is about following. I follow myself with a camera, and frame where I am. As the shutter opens and closes, it becomes where I was. Looking back, amid ever shifting grounds, I am followed by what is constant. The photographs show it as my family and my own image, but much of what is constant can neither be seen, nor photographed.
I follow myself with a camera because I don’t know where I am going. I follow myself with a camera because I want to see who was with me, and whom I was missing. I follow myself with a camera to remember the way home.
The loss of self
Snakes shed their skin periodically to allow for further growth and to get rid of parasites that may have gotten attached to their old skin. We as humans shed our skins too but it is an ongoing process and rarely noticed. But what if we were able to shed our skin like the snakes?
This snake’s skin shedding process reminds me of all the times we change roles to become someone else. I have been a mother, a daughter, a lover, a wife, a sister, a divorcee. With each role, I lose a bit of myself. 2016 was a year of losses for me. There was loss of self, of love, of life, of family, of religion, of identity, of freedom, of home. Coping with loss is a deeply personal process. For me, it has brought a new self out from under the old skin. A self that is not scared.
By transferring the photographs, I have made them transparent, almost snake skin like, peeling off, disappearing and muted. These photo transfers depict challenges I go through as a minority, explanations I have to give, fears that I have, freedom that I am constantly fighting for. Their transparency allows the viewer to become a part of the image. By seeing themselves in me, maybe they can see the connections we all share.
The end of a love song
This is different, different than the last one. My head doesn’t stop spinning, all the answers I have to give. Remember when you said you shoot the moon out of the sky for me?Why did you stop? Words. Only hollow. The promises?
Your side of the bed lays empty. I am slowly putting away all the smells. Of dead flowers. Is there a box big enough to store it all in? As I walk the streets again, you are not me. There is no escape. What happened? They say.
Morning light in the room, another reminder. The songs. He asks me. Long ago we were. Getting erased now. Take away the hurt as well. Dreamers, do they ever learn? Oh but I will always see you. Only differently now.
November 28th, 2012
The Mom Series
The Mom Series explores influences of culture and identity. The mothers I photograph, including myself, come from places all around the world. Some are family, some are friends and some are total strangers. While their sense of self is often tied to different conceptions of homeland, their identities are informed by much more than where they are from. The culture my subjects share is the rich, expanding culture of motherhood. Reaching beyond geographical and political boarders, motherhood is the most profound homeland of all.
I do not like pretty sunsets anymore
The beginning of a poem
Things seem to be dancing. I look, and I see poems everywhere. Creases and crinkles create shapes from shadow and light in endless combinations. Made and unmade, abandoned, but never absolutely. The bed is empty before and after. Even ironed sheets leave an impression.
The subject of these photographs is simplistic and direct, but their subject matter is broad and open-ended. Without the context of those who are at home between their sheets, these private, and very intimate settings are stripped of their identity and allowed to approach anonymity. Each one has a little bit of the person’s individuality, an imprint of who was there. The covers and the pillows and the sheets all come together, creating mysteries to unfold. Arrangements of highlights and shadows over a range of fabrics, allude to a beauty that is both classical and banal.
Imagine all the beds you’ve ever slept in, sat on, shared, touched, made or stripped of their covers. What did you leave behind? Is it still there? These photographs invite you to examine and uncover the secret thoughts, and the unsaid words we all sleep with.