I’ve never been the kind of artist that uses art as a means to express personal emotion. For years I photographed the female form because I was interested in the aesthetic of the abstraction of the body and creating interesting compositions through a photographic lens, but since I have been in graduate school it seems the content of my work has gone from aesthetic, formal observations, to emotional, personal content.
For 2+ years I dated a man who I thought I might ultimately share a future life with. We met in undergrad and developed a friendship, but there always seemed to be a little bit more there. We were awkward and avoided the potential feelings we might have and instead spent time dating other people, until eventually in the Spring of 2014 we decided to give in and figure out what this weird thing was between us. I always used to say I feel like I loved him since the day I met him, it just took me a while to come around to it, and I still believe that’s true. I drunkly told him after a month of dating that I was falling in love with him- something I still am embarrassed about to this day. Our time spent together in a small rural PA town while we both finished school was nothing short of amazing. We both played rugby, we were both hard working students, christians; our relationship was what some would call picture perfect.
Unfortunately, however, as we got more serious, so did the potential for our future, or lack there of. He was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, and come graduation he would have to make the decision as to whether he would find a job in the states and stay, pursue a masters here, or head home and study there instead. The latter occurred and was something I feared for a very long time. In August of 2016 as I began my first year of graduate school here in Columbus, OH, he left and returned to South Africa without a set timeline or plan to return to the states. We did what we could, but ultimately our relationship ended in November. Being an ocean away, with 6-7 hour time difference, and no real guarantee of when you may see each other next is as you can imagine, emotionally daunting.
Blue; a love affair is a body of work that is comprised of photographs I took in December of 2014 while I visited my boyfriend at the time and his family in South Africa. The photographs are accompanied by a small book containing a written narrative that explains a personal association created between the color blue, South Africa, this man, and his family. The photographs are printed as Cyanotypes to also reflect the content of the book and the color association. The combination of written narrative and personal photographs aim to explore and explain memory and the pain or emotion that comes with a love once lost.