Phoenix & Into The West

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Rising Phoenix & Into The West Series

In 2017 I suffered a near fatal bicycle accident resulting in a double brain injury, a broken body and a shattered sense of self. The various stages of rehab took two and a half years, slowly mending body & brain .

I found myself seeking out the remote landscapes of the American West, hiking into breathtaking but often challenging environments that required me to surrender to the situation, making myself vulnerable and also experiencing fear, reliving significant emotions of my actual rehabilitation. This led me to working on “Rising Phoenix” - a series of photography on the human figure - my human figure - now mending, blending into and becoming one with nature. I wanted to metaphorically depict vulnerability yet also empowerment.

Spending time in these still yet so vibrantly alive spaces had a profound effect on me. The silence, healing power and beauty deeply touched me, and I attempted to capture the spirit, the emotion, and often the sensuality of a place. Inadvertently, I started creating “Into the West” - landscapes interconnected with my self-portraits. Not 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 has been a great influence on me and 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 statements 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