Phoenix & Into The West

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Phoenix & Into The West Series

Phoenix is a series of self-portraits to metaphorically depict the different stages of recovery from my more than two year journey of rehab overcoming a double brain injury in 2017. I sought out the remote and untouched landscapes of the West, to find the necessary solitude for working on this series.

The human figure blending into, and becoming one with nature. Surrendering to the situation, making myself vulnerable, experiencing discomfort and fear - all significant elements of my actual rehabilitation. Spending time in these still but so vibrantly alive spaces had a profound effect on me. The silence and beauty deeply touched me – and I attempted to capture the spirit, the emptiness, and often the sensuality of a place – exploring the space between beginning and end. Inadvertently, I created a second, yet for me interconnected series - Into The West. Not all in the traditional sense of classic landscape photography, predominantly a domain of male photographers, but following in the footsteps of two pioneering female artists from the last century, whose spirit and work have been a great influence on my work. Georgia O’Keeffe in her paintings, her abstraction and use of color, and Anne Brigman, in her photography often depicting herself in the wilderness of the Sierra Nevada. These two statements from said artists ring particularly true for me:

"Filling a space in a beautiful way - that is what art means to me. My painting is what I have to give back to the world for what the world gives to me." Georgia O'Keeffe

“Fear is the great chain which binds women and prevents their development, and fear is the one apparently big thing which has no foundation in life.” Anne Brigman