It has only been two weeks since we left the residency and somehow I feel like I am behind. I am still trying to finalize a mentor, have just finished my residency summary and working on my list of books. We have only just begun and I am sure this term will fly by.
My goal this term is continue to find ways to create images that let the viewer feel what I felt as a child growing up in a dysfunctional family. I will persist in my newest vein, working with the psychology of mental illness and addiction and the effects it had on me as a child. I will deal with the concept of empty spaces, loneliness, and isolation as well as anger, grief, and loss. I am extremely excited about pursuing the idea of scars, whether visible or invisible left by being part of a family with mental illness. I want to pursue mark making as an expression of some of the scars, cuts, and tensions felt and layer this with some of my photography.
During the residency a great deal of the discussion focused on the holes, punctures, and the shot from the shotgun. I was advised to research artists that were affected by mental illness and in particular to examine their mark making. I will also need to research the use of the gun and how it has been used to create art, whether through performance art or as with mine, shooting the artwork itself.
One way I want to move forward this term will be to continue to express my specific story through scarring and mark-making and hone in on some of these descriptions focusing in a very specific aspect, like the splitting of the mind with schizophrenia, or the fractured self, disintegration, falling apart, or the futility to keep something together that can’t be kept together. During the critiques I realized the duality that occurs while I create images that are extremely specific to me while at the same time, as I express broad fundamental concepts opening the framework to including more interpretations of my work.
A new concept, the concept of home started showing up in my photos relatively late in the term. I discovered this while grouping and sequencing my images for my portfolio. Only then did I realize that I had also unconsciously made a secondary group of images. I don’t know if I will directly pursue this direction this term but will continue to look for any reoccurrences in my work.
As I question my work it is good to see where others agree, where I can take in new insights, and even when I can be exposed to perspectives much different than my own. This term I found a way forward to finally express myself using contemporary tools, while beginning to create art that is rooted in my family culture and reflective of my experiences. At this residency, I felt my voice, which had been silent, speak in my images.