Route illustrates a journey of personal recovery. I have been exploring a personal examination of bodily and mental fragility which stemmed from a surgical experience in 2019.
I wanted to demonstrate a motivation to be out more in nature while inside during lockdown (2020-2021), and to reflect the connection between myself, my body, and the adaptations found there. Conceptually, I decided to explore how external factors affect appearance and draw comparisons with my own body post-surgery; observing the idea that humans and nature both go through challenges.
Route has resulted in a sequence of photographic diptychs, one larger and one smaller sculpture. I wanted to show domesticity (which was my landscape during lockdown) by creating indoor self-portraiture influenced by a natural adaptation outside. I have been drawing on lessons from resilience in nature, as a way of representing my own emotions and desire to adapt after life's challenges.
Both of my artistic processes are related to the impact surgery had on me; I use economical photographic methods (developing photographic negatives with coffee/soda washing/vitamin C or plants) that are considered a lower risk to health, which I then display onto glass to convey fragility.
Glass Landscape - from series Route (2021)
My work Glass Landscape consists of seven glass photographic panels and serves as a smaller model for my larger artwork sculpture Route (2021). This sculpture features glass panels that I didn't get to include in the 1metre version.
Route/Glass Landscape (2021) depicts a personal path of recovery resulting from my experiences with surgery and confinement during the lockdown. I wanted to highlight finding beauty indoors while juxtaposing domesticity with the outdoor environment.
Walks in the countryside inspired me because I saw adaptability and endurance in rock formations or trees due to external factors, which I then related to my post-surgery body. When feeling trapped, I would photograph these adaptations to duplicate their forms with my body at home. I wanted to display my connection and admiration for nature and its ability to change, in the hopes of securing resilience for myself.
The images are anchored upright to convey a feeling of strength and delicacy, as well as the sensation of being like a structure or my own unique universe.