Incidents: A visual reflection and documentation of the process of individuation
Incidents is the foundation of the process of individuation, in which I used memory, experience, and identity (collective and individual) as a vehicle to construct a narrative. Furthermore, I make art to externalize the memories, experiences and inquiries, and turn them into tangible objects. This photographic narrative explores my personal journey dealing with combat-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I incorporated a written narrative and visual images to construct a story that many female veterans may have experienced.
I have been asked many times if creating Incidents is a form art therapy. It is important for me to stress that this is not a form of art therapy. I used critical reflection of the self and environment through written journal entries to work out what I was going through at the moment. Though, I found it to be very therapeutic to create; the process was transformational in my personal development as an artist and overall person.
Inspiration and Advocacy
Artist and MacArthur Genius Recipient Carrie Mae Weems is an inspiration in regards to my photographic work. Weems’s Kitchen Table Series from 1990 was an introduction to a body of work that made me passionate about my work. Her minimalistic style, using only a single light source in her own space – her kitchen table – conveys the struggle of family and the fight for power between those characters depicted. She didn’t have to go to another country or state to find a narrative of conflict. It was located in her home. She used herself as the story. Weems represents a voice, in my opinion, of all women. That’s what I admire about her. From there, that’s what I aspire to be. As she “focused on the role of narrative, the social levels of humor, the deconstruction of documentary, the construction of history, the use of text, storytelling, performance, and the role of memory,” I bravely want to cater my work toward those themes but modernize them to pertain to issues that our prevalent in our society.
Advocating on behalf of the “invisible feminine” is vital to me. Many females, specifically female veterans, including myself, are not represented holistically through the eyes of the media, government, arts, and culture. While we are a crucial part of society and culture, our issues are not treated with the same consideration and import as those of our male counterparts. We are not weak, however our voice is not heard, and we are not recognized as we should be. Why is that? Why did it take so long for our accomplishments and issues to be acknowledged?