In a fast-paced world, we live outwardly, constantly anticipating future endeavors and immediate gratification. In turn, we spend less and less time alone with our thoughts. Through photography, performance, and digital design, my work prompts an introspective experience for the viewer. Exploring notions of home, gender, and companionship, my art challenges both societal and self-imposed conditioning. Who are we once free of these constructs? Is such freedom even possible?
In tackling definitions of home, I seek to understand how home creates an emotional state of safety and belonging. My photo series, A Living Room, contrasts domestic furniture with an ambiguous outdoor landscape, and in doing so, illuminates the difference between the conventional, physical definition of home and home as an emotional end-goal. It prompts the viewer to reflect on what they need (or don’t need) in order to create a sense of belonging. More recently, the lockdowns in the pandemic have motivated me to revisit home from a different angle. My video performance, All Together Alone takes on a “going through the motions'' approach to a picnic. As I gesture to imaginary friends and attempt to chew plastic food, I speculate on the lonely, even contrived nature of virtual life during the pandemic. This provokes the idea that domestic spaces aren’t always joyous, or even safe for that matter, thus further separating domesticity from my concept of home.
Other projects explore gendered issues, such as my sculptural performance, Winter Collection. By using tampons, birth control, and “pubic hair” to create a jacket, a purse, and a long-sleeve top, I subvert the way such garments are used to conceal these “undesirable” aspects of femininity. Then, walking down a busy street in each outfit, I challenge viewers in their discomfort with feminine health and hygiene, forcing them to pause and consider why something like an exposed tampon makes them feel uneasy.
Notions of interpersonal relationships emerge in my photo performance, Baking a Dagger to My Heart. Tossing homemade cakes off the top of a parking garage references my rejection of hurtful exchanges with my father, best friend, and ex-boyfriend. Real-life quotes inscribed on each cake illustrate the bittersweet way that those we love the most can also generate the most heartache. Destroying their uninvited sentiments demonstrates how I have conditioned myself to cope with such moments and forces me to consider how my immediate relationships alter my relationship with myself. Ultimately, my art addresses what I perceive to be universal feelings–feelings of loneliness, acceptance, and unrequited love. In presenting my art to the public I ask, what do you feel? Do you feel this too?