As a visual artist working between image and text, I utilize photography and writing to understand my need to inextricably link identity to a land, a home, a memory-scape. This meeting of images and text has crossed over into bookmaking. My aim in the creation of a book lies in the intimacy of the object and the reliance on the viewer to make choices in how they perceive the experience I’ve laid out in front of them. In this, my process can become more collaborative. Photography is a medium that takes from its subjects, and because of this, I struggle with the power dynamic between photographer and subject, artist and viewer. Through image-making, I ask people to give up a piece of themselves, and in exchange, I offer up a piece of myself to them. My hope is a collaborative exchange of time, place, and experience; a give and take, a push and pull. Text then, becomes a bridge to this now communal place we’ve created; a way for the viewer to enter into my experience while being grounded in their own past experiences. And this becomes especially fruitful in my current questioning of the embodiment of an identity through landscape.
The idea of home is a strong one, embedded in each of our psyches as something idealistic - a place we long for, or strive towards, or rally behind in our cultural, spiritual, and political identities. Often, it becomes our entire identity, taken over by our need to create a space that is all our own. So then, what happens to the self when the idealization of home is connected to a sense of identity and inevitably the myth comes into question?
This questioning has led me to where I am now; exploring the land, the earth, and my memories to understand where and what I consider to be home. It was only upon returning to the place of my birth, that I realized home is an idealization and amalgamation of every single memory and experience we choose to cling to. Home exists as a myth would; powerful, repeated, collective affirmation. Through photographing and bookmaking, my work perceives home as existing in the space between reality and abstraction.