I had previously poured myself into many projects looking to express my discomfort in my own hyper-flexible, unstable body, as well as my drive to reclaim my sexuality and form a personal identity that spoke to a healthier attachment to my pain. Then pandemic hit, and everything got much more difficult. Forced solitude, loneliness, and a longing for touch, made me ever-more ready to welcome hands on my body, whosever they may be— but my own touch was a sole resource. So that is what I did.
A loss of access to manual therapy, bodywork, and other nodes of physical rehabilitation had me feeling less and less stable in my hyper-mobile self. Longing for solid ground, stability, something to lean my tired bones against, I found myself placing my own hands on my body to steady myself and bring myself home over and over again. I listened to the sensations, felt my own strength, and found comfort and peace within my body— by my own hand.
In shooting this self-expressive concept, I began with a still, quiet evening in my “home studio”— a black cloth on the wall and a couple of small lights. I shot myself as-is: tired, bruised, and longing for touch. I placed my own hands on my body and steadied myself. I felt the breath come into the parts of my body cupped by my palms and grasped by my fingers; I felt muscle tension melt with each slow exhale. And I shot each moment as I found my way up my own body. The place where my inner experience inside myself met the outer stimulation of the world was found right between the contact points of my own hands on my own skin.
When I was done bringing myself home, I looked at every captured moment and remembered the sensation of feeling grasped and held, and wondered what it would be like to feel all of them at once. I composited every grasp of my hands until I had the final product. And suddenly, I could imagine what it would feel like. Every soft and steady touch condensed into one careful embrace, a welcoming cocoon of my own shape in space. Creating and watching this piece became a tool to swiftly carry me home to my own body once more. I held myself.
A sample of some of the meaningful projects I've used to sustain my healing. Find more on Patreon.
"DOUBLE THE PLEASURE
DOUBLE THE PAIN"
Self portrait composites commenting on sciatic nerve pain that runs down both legs. As women are seen as sexual objects (sometimes even before they are seen as people who suffer just like everyone else), these composites are a commentary on the sexual benefit of having two sets of lower torsos and legs, as well as the added pain of double the sciatica.
"TIME TO SLEEP"
Somewhere in Kansas, 2020
Blue Ridge Mountains, VA 2020
New Mexico, 2018
Nomad's - Norfolk, VA
"A Woman's View"
SE Center for Photography - Greenville, SC