ARTIST STATEMENT

I make photographs about chronic illness, disability, and queerness through self portraits, documentary photography, and alternative process prints exploring selfhood, relationships, and medical experiences. At the core of my work is a drive to untangle my identity from the internal and external expectations placed upon my physical body.

 

By approaching the complexity of living as a sick, queer person through multiple mediums I am able to approach the dynamic nature of my subject matter from multiple angles. Each process encourages consideration of interconnected themes from different visual perspectives in order to step away from binary ways of thinking about health, ability, gender, and sexuality.

 

The Countless Moments That Make Up Waiting (2020-2021) unravels time over the two years I isolated with my immediate family at my parents' home in Florida during the Covid-19 pandemic. The project weaves together daily rituals, markers of time passing, and the stillness of staying in one place. An undercurrent of anxiety and loneliness hangs onto the images, and evidence of chronic illness crops up in the home landscape, peeling back the boundary between private and public spaces.

My lumen project, Pathology (2020-ongoing) both entertains and rejects the idea of proving illness by exploring the nuances of medical records and the inability of a test result or diagnosis to describe the lived experience of a patient. The body of visual evidence I generate in this project challenges the burden of proof placed upon me when accessing medical treatment, accommodations, and social support. It also considers the relationship between privacy, medical information, and gender identity.

 

Vessel (2020) was published by Fifth Wheel Press as a 68 page monograph. The series is a documentation of the physical and mental changes after a medically necessary hysterectomy at 23. The process of creating the series was also an act of healing and reclamation after years of misinformed medical treatment leading to a chronic internal disconnection from selfhood. Weaving together both documentation and symbolism, Vessel creates space for a new identity to emerge.

 

Overlapping with Vessel, Where the Red Flowers Bloom (2019-2020) was created out of a desperate desire for bodily autonomy and selfhood. Following a laparoscopy in which I was diagnosed with endometriosis, I experienced a health crisis due to a treatment that I took under misguided medical advice. During and following that crisis I rediscovered self portraiture as a way to cope with multiple hospitalizations and surgeries while recovering from years long dissociation from my body.

 

Prior to beginning my series with self portraiture, I began working with my immediate family on

A Family of Complicated Bodies (2016-ongoing), a long term project exploring their experience of chronic illness and the impact health has on family dynamics, home environment, and the individuals of the family. The project is created in collaboration with my family and they have generously allowed me to document intimate moments of illness, hardship, and also family joy in order to disrupt narratives around health that demand a linear overcoming of sickness.