Much of my work is performative. “You are performing unconsious memories” said Ernesto Puljol at Maine Media during my MFA. And indeed I was. I was alone and lonely in my childhood, both parents either gone or emotionally remote. I felt vulnerable and unseen.
Survival amid the ruin
My mother had high functioning autism and my father lived away from home when I was a child. I was lonely. The lack of connection and abandonment echos with me even today. My siblings were very affected and the family became like this ruined structure. I mourn the loss.
Often one feels unable to breathe. A sudden shock, a death of a loved one, a divorce, an illness, may make us feel alone, underwater, unable to breathe. We just want things to go back to normal and we look around at everyone else going about their business. We want to surface and we cannot.
A wedding dress, a powerful iconic piece of clothing, unmistakeable. So much symbolism and significance. Often women lose their identity in it, even their name.Gender roles become straightjackets. Culture requires relentless adherence to performance.
Wedding dress in the Ocean
I was unconsciously compelled to take this wedding dress and submerge it in the Atlantic Ocean. The sun made magical patterns on the fabric, waves and tide moved it in and out, folds became visable in the fabric. Sand shifted onto the garment, ripples of water appeared. I love this image. It reminds me of the magic that happens when a bride walks down the isle to her beloved and they begin their lives together. She is transformed.
Being female was a burden for my family so they tried to control and silence me. I was unseen as a person, it was painful for me. I was not supported or loved. I felt underwater, invisible.
A five year old, innocence.
Strength and beauty
Strength in the face of vulnerability is something we all must have to survive.