excerpt of artist statement, in progress-
While residing in the liminal space between the pieces of myself that I lost as I became a mother, and also gained as I became one, I felt like I was meeting myself as an artist for the first time. For me, pandemic motherhood has been a messy sort of watercolor, a bleeding together of guilt and gratitude. Beautiful in its simplicity, and complicated by its dichotomy. The pictures from the series I’ve titled Breathing Room explore that space.
I spent the first year of my daughter’s life navigating the uneasy waters of missing the vast, largely uninterrupted energy for creativity I once had, while learning what it meant to give nearly all of myself to the small human who relied on me. I felt my grip on what made me feel whole as an artist begin to slip away, only to find it floating back to me in unexpected ways. The balance of work and motherhood felt not only like a moving target, because of the nature of working as a photographer, but the added layer of worry for my daughter’s health, my families health, the fear of what was going on in the outside world. It contributed to a strange daily concoction of melancholy, and gratitude. As a mother I felt blessed and robbed at the same time. Blessed with undisrupted time with this person I grew inside of my body, a person I felt like I knew my entire life, but robbed of the life I had pictured within our family, our world, and within my work.
I didn’t have the words in the early days to explain what I was feeling internally. There was a growing disdain for the performance of motherhood in online spaces, walking in tandem with my attraction to the romanticism and beauty of it all. It created a constant tornado of conflict about where my voice landed in this space of photographs and motherhood, and if it even mattered at all. I thought, and continue to think often about having “breathing room”. As my husband and I felt the walls of our 900 square foot home feel smaller by the day during the height of being home together, all I ever craved was some breathing room. But it’s a deceiving sort of craving. When I felt as if I might suffocate from the weight of new motherhood, with quite literally nowhere to escape to, a pandemic whirring just outside the walls of our home, and an exasperation whirring right inside of me, the minute I had that precious time away from my daughter, I missed her, but I didn’t. But I did.
Once my daughter began to gain some independence, growing out of the attached to my body at all time phase, and into a whole new phase of confidence and toddler chaos, I looked at sending her to Montessori school as a sort of new phase for us all, a way for me to be able to get reacquainted with the version of myself that felt dormant, and nearly vanished. The pandemic had other plans, and sending her to school became a new reason to hold our breath again. The years we’ve spent at home, being afraid of the air we breathed and the humans we touched, is woven into the fabric of our family now. It’s the base of our collective birth story, forever present in the layered history of how two became three during an uncertain time..