Dreams are quirky phenomena. Existing in that liminal space we are confronted with situations we can’t quite explain, often fraught with absurdities and illogical occurrences. They challenge the delicate balance between perception and the subconscious mind.
I rarely remember entire dream sequences; instead, I find myself left with confused snippets. Like the boxes of pictures kept in tins in a drawer...a collection of pictures I barely recognize, yet somehow relate to as having experienced. Awake, I am left wondering ‐ was it really a dream, or a previously forgotten bit of a random memory?
LEGALLY BLIND (2013-)
As a visual artist, I am dependent on sight for all of my work. However, beginning when I was 18 years old, and worsening as she aged, my mother was legally blind. According to her descriptions, she could see shapes and bright colors, but nothing more. In legally blind, I modified my camera to make it less I tried to use the camera to visualize what my mother might have seen when she looked at the Hawaii shoreline.
When I began this project, during the summer of 2013, my mother was alive. In the spring of 2014, she was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and passed five weeks later. I never got to show her this project, so I will never know if this was her personal experience or not. However, when eight images from this body of work were shown at my solo exhibition at the Honolulu Museum of Art during 2018, many people from the community informed that this was their personal experience of being legally blind, and they were also grateful for my drawing awareness to the disability. That meant a great deal to me.
I, ORFEO (2015-2018)
Several years ago, my husband and I had a miserable fight fraught with drama and fury. He slammed the door and walked out, declaring loudly that he wanted a divorce.
The next morning, I stood at the front of my classroom. When I opened my mouth to lecture, I instead burst into tears. The only thing I could see and hear were Rilke’s words about Orpheus and Eurydice:
The god put out his hand to stop her, saying, with sorrow in his voice: He has turned around--, she could not understand, and softly answered Who?
I, Orfeo represents my attempt to process that which I did not expect and I could not–even now, several years later–conceive; a visual allusion to what I felt and experienced. Creating it was heart-wrenching, challenging, and yet strangely affirming; filled with despair as well as catharsis.
In telling only one side of a two-person tale, “I, Orfeo" simultaneously reveals and occludes. By revealing the inherent duality contained within a one-sided telling, it conveys the dichotomy found in perception, memories, and photography itself.
Self-Exposure walks the line between reality and artifice; between soul searching and social commentary. Although each image is an introspective and expressive look at my own persona, each is also a critique of commonly held societal beliefs about feminine identity and contemporary expectations of women. The individual characters I create each express either expectations placed upon me as a woman in American society, or echo sentiments of the ideals I wish I could meet but fall far short of. Because these expectations arise from an amalgamation of sources, my characters of self-exposure are amalgamations as well.
Beginning with a specific idea, I photograph myself (and the other elements needed.) Although I currently shoot only using a collection of different iPhone models, I frequently modify them with alternative and handmade lens combinations. I utilize those specifically for the look and feel they lend to my photographs. Using my iPad, I composite these shots together, then heavily manipulate the image to further develop the message. After printing, I add hand-work in charcoal, pastel or pencil, then mount the images to cradled wood panel and hand-coat them with encaustic media.