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Freed From Rage and Sorrow

Reflections of Emptiness in the American Dream

 

I’ve traveled the back roads and captured the moments that speak. The landscapes have their own story. Buried in the lines and cracks, trickling down the waterways and through the skies. The story of time and the nature of being.

The ancestors spoke when I was young. They told me what was here, what was real and what was needed. They showed me the future, and whispered of the past. This land remembers. It has a voice. And it wants to be heard. “Truth is in the land,” the voice said. Stories are written and spoken, but I needed to know. Surrendering to intuition and forsaking the known, I observed in the world around me the path I was destined to take. Relating patterns, unfolding perceptions, traveling this naked reality in pursuit of understanding.

...

Thirty years ago, I had a vision. I told no one. It wasn’t the first time, but it was the only time of such acute intensity and specificity. It told me of the future and now that future is happening. “When will I be free?” I called out silently to the mountain from the deepest desperation within my heart, “When will all be free?” Like a shock wave the answer came, nearly knocking me to the ground.

My sight went dark and the voice began speaking. “Many people will die.” Disoriented and feeling like I was going to pass out, with great effort I pulled myself upright and refocused my sight. “These people will die,” the voice said as I walked away from the center of the monument as quickly as possible. Not wanting anyone to notice, I made my way to the other side of the booths near the parking lot. Seeing no one, I crouched down, unfocused my eyes, listened and looked at what was being shown to me.

I’ve had trouble with memory. There were parts of my mind I couldn’t access and years of my life I could not recall. “Someday you will photograph your experience,” the voice said. These photographs are symbols. Field notes. Mnemonic devices for a map of the knowledge I was searching for and a method of restoring my mind. Everything is connected and everything had to be tested.

“Like this bowl of water, the elder said, your vision is clear.” This work is a document of the past and threshold to the future. It is evidence. Something to leave behind. I have had to be honest though I didn't want to. “I think you are born to it,” my godmother said looking out the window as we went into our meditation. Everything is Vipassana.

...

The consequence of oppression and abuse are the same on an individual level as on the societal and the environmental. The dominator’s control over powerlessness, erasure of identity, attack on memory and silencing of speech and thought by physical, emotional and psychological pain and manipulation result in severe, traumatic injury of mind, body and soul. This traumatized relationship with ourselves is reflected in our conception and our treatment of the earth and all that is a part of it.

In this work, a visual language is developed through the environment which express a range of sensory experiences both present, past and future. Struggling to regain lost memories through PTSD, depersonalization, physical disablement and pain, I found myself in isolation, losing my identity and forced to find identity within myself. This work is about suffering and the cessation of suffering. Much insight can be gained from such an ordeal.

Through understanding the process of erasure and finding ways to experience peace and awareness, rather than fear and distortion, I learn to stay present in a life that has been under constant threat and attack. Photographing my experience in a practice of non-attachment and observation, the forms reveal the hidden truth of my experience. The more I speak, the more I photograph, the more agency I develop until I am able to stand in clarity with the nature of myself and the nature of all things. Healing occurs of absolute necessity. Creating space for where one is without trying to change (or distract from) the experience is essential to finding the path through the confusion which is ultimately the singular and absolute tool of oppression.

 

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All prints are created using archival papers and canvases with archival inks or traditional photographic chemical processes.

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This Website Supports Augmented Reality to Live Preview Art

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