A BODY OF ART
I fell in love with self-portraiture in 2019 and have let it carry me through so much, I'm not quite sure where I’d be today without it.
I am a very prolific shooter! Sometimes creating every single day. That’s because I use self portraits to cope with my pain, to aid my healing, to celebrate my strengths and hard work, and everything in between. This node of self expression has become an intrinsic part of who I am, despite often feeling like I don’t have much of an identity to begin with.
Through the coping and healing side of shooting, I’ve gained an obsession with sensation as well as alignment— with how it feels to have the sun sliding over your cheeks, the soft ground crumbling beneath the barefooted curl of your toes. Every sensation that distracts from the dull, steadfast, grip of my chronic pain. Even ones that hurt too! The slug over fallen trees, scraping up soft skin, the rolling, throbbing sting of a cut. It’s all fresh and renewing, like taking a deep breathe for the first time in a day. And I love to capture these moments so I can remember these felt sensation later. A treat to revisit as I please.
And the alignment— bringing shoulders back, a strong and steady torso, like the trunk of a tree. Mimicking lines and shapes found in nature. Stacking joints and feeling strength seep into muscles. I love capturing it all, over and over again. Watching the changes, noticing the consistencies.
Working with what I have— my body, strong and hurting. The sunlight on my face, drying my tears, hurting my eyes, casting strong shadows behind me. Natural landscapes… the forest that hides me safe and sound, the desert that echos my screams in intense conversation, the river that washes the salt and dirt from my face and cools my aching joints.
Every day I wake up, shake off the pain, mind my body, and shoot… to pull (sometimes drag) me back home to myself. Then I repeat, over and over again, in hopes of this route becoming easier to travel; til the footpath wears deep ruts to guide me on days when it might be harder to see. Til then, shooting is my meditation, my cradle, my medicine. My sanctuary.
And shooting to celebrate & express-- the opportunities for self expression are boundless. Art has no purpose, and thus no rules. I feel incredibly fortunate to have access to such a tool for salvation and expression. An ability to share my journey, my endeavors, my failures and my success. In such a way that mighty inspire others to do the same— to find ways to bring themselves home too.
Check out my self portrait projects at the link below. Scroll down to sample my Instagram.
Click on "See All of My Work" to be directed to Patreon.