My young children have provoked in me, the desire to feel the weight of the now, to physically ingest the moment we exist in, at any given time, and feel a bodily connection to other humans and to the physical world. Becoming a mother has increased my growing skepticism about the way we communicate and reduced my faith in my own understanding of the way life should be lived. It has brought into focus the waste and disillusionment brought on by living in a society that values money over human life and the health of our planet, causing me to think deeply about the handed down ideology of my own ancestors.
My parents' and grandparents' lives have always existed under a shroud of mystery. Themes of partial truths, mental illness, homophobia and closeted queerness, exist in a tangle of late-night stories, old photographs and differing accounts of the same events. Through my work, I mine these stories to posthumously connect with the truth of who these people were. As the buttoned-up narrative I was fed as a child unravels, I reflect on what it means to know someone and to be known, even as I know that the truth with always evade me.
Through my work, I explore new ways of communicating and connecting with my ancestors, my children and the natural world. Feeling that traditional ways of communicating are mired in the optimistic attachments of our white supremacist, patriarchal, money-driven society, I wish to invent my own way of gleaning knowledge and intimacy through haptic feedback. At times absurd, and desperate, I lean into a metaphysical way of communicating, channeling knowledge through use of the body. I imagine that pressing one’s breast into a tomato might bring to light a lost family recipe, that allowing one’s exhausted arm to be propped up by broken branches might help channel maternal energy from the surrounding trees, that regendering my chest with my son’s hair clippings will give me insight into what it is to be an eight-year-old boy.
As I watch my children construct their own versions of history on armatures built of their personal experiences, I seek to understand and dismantle my own armature, and to break from a posture of motherhood handed down to me. Through my photographs, I reflect on the contradictions of domestic life freed from conventional narratives. I hold space for myself and my children so that we might imagine alternatives, and form more meaningful connections with each other and the outside world.