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Photography: Black & White, Mordançage, watercolor, Gouache, Gesso on Paper, Other.
My work explores the visceral, unveiling the internal conflict of those who suffer from chronic mental illness. The photographs capture the unspoken moments of anguish that remain buried behind the facade that sufferers of mental illness often wear. I chose the Mordancage process for this body of work because of the unique, distinctive images it produces. Many factors influence the final appearance of an image that has gone through this process, including chemical mixture, paper, exposure, and the strength of the veils. As a result, the final appearance of each portrait is unique. This relates to the way in which each person experiences the same illness, or trauma differently.
The Mordancage process causes the emulsion of the silver gelatin print to lift away from the photo paper in a “veil”, permanently destroying and then transforming the original image. This concept of the veil, and its metaphorical and physical presence are vital to the meaning behind each of my photographs. The veils are formed only in the dark values, leaving the light values untouched. The fragmented figures captured in the image then emerge, burned beyond recognition from the destruction around them; their disconnected limbs flail within the chaos.