My work is an exploration into the contemporary fabric of women stained by living. Whether it’s the self-portraits of “Stand Up Straight” or the photographs and transcribed text of “i love you too.”, I draw on personal life experience as both the artist and the subject in much of my work; growing up a “daddy’s girl” in a conservative family, becoming a mother at the age of seventeen, a domestic violence survivor, and the trauma of losing my mother suddenly to a car accident. My personal history mirrors that of other women faced daily with identity, religion, and cultural norms and expectations. Who are we, as individuals and as a collective? How do we take what family, religion, and society thrusts upon us and overcome to become the person we choose? “Like their personal lives, women’s history is fragmented […]” – Elizabeth Janeway.
Photographs tell lies through slivers of reality. How much do we rely on images to provide memories of personal experience, how is collective memory of past events shaped and preserved, and how do they overlap, coexist, and inform each other? The process of making art is a way for me to deconstruct, abstract, and build connections from personal narratives, including image and text through photography and artist books.
Work such as “Stand Up Straight” represents, in part, my relationship with my Mother; her voice, in my head, even today, about how I should dress and act. “Stand up straight. Are you wearing a slip? Those shoes don’t match. Put your shoes on. Pretty is as pretty does.” The volumes of “i love you too.” speak to a fracture in communication through today’s technology by exploring personal text messages and photography. The factors of distance, time, and space are amplified by feelings of disconnect.
Personal work can be intimate, emotional, and alienating, simply because the photographs are both personal and public. They are about the imprint left on every one of us as we travel through life.