Illness has recently become a powerful force that works to control all aspects of my life and who I know myself to be both internally and externally. Its discovery has caused multiple changes in my mindset, lifestyle choices, and goals. For years, I was only able to look at these changes pessimistically and subsequently, I found it easy to view myself in a similarly pessimistic way. My most recent body of artwork attempts to counteract these vulnerabilities that came about because of illness by putting them on display, exposing and analyzing everything about myself and my illness as honestly as possible. Using my artistic expression to create something beautiful out of something that is a source of discomfort for me, makes it easier to respect myself and feel proud of these flaws that make me who I am while reclaiming a sense of control I felt was lost. My work is the vessel with which I exercise openness and honesty in my day to day life, specifically within the areas of my life that are affiliated with my chronic diagnoses. My process, mediums, research, and concepts are all key in translating these introspective, and deeply personal emotions into art that can be understood, relatable, and possibly even helpful to a much wider audience. It is a hope that in doing this, my work can inspire strength within my viewers in the same way that my work is cathartic for me.
I often feel as though I am very much at the will of my doctors and symptoms, so in an attempt to eliminate this sense of helplessness, I have not only turned to my art but to my research. The research I conduct prior to starting a piece is the backbone of my process, which allows me to garner more control.
It has been a central goal of my work to confront the parts of my illness I spent the first years of my diagnosis avoiding, which is why most of my work is large scale or life-size. Their presence commands the space they are in, and becomes unavoidable, while also bringing an element of playfulness into objects and concepts that, for me, are very intimidating, private, or uncomfortable. These two elements in conjunction are articulated in all of my sculptural works. Interactivity also allows me to let go of my perfectionism and better accept change. Allowing things to be out of my control while also using my process to gain more control has given me a balance of adaptability and internal strength that has been integral in adjusting to my new life as a patient.