Crash Couture { 19 images } Created 25 Feb 2018

The purpose of this series is to mine the jewels of wisdom and acceptance of what it means for me to be “reborn”. This body of self-portrait work explores the recovery from a nearly fatal accident in August 2017. While traveling to photograph the eclipse, I flew out of the roof of a 40 foot RV. I ended up 2 feet from the tree that stopped the RV from rolling over my body. My photography documents the ongoing process of putting the pieces of self together again.

My injuries are extensive: a hip replacement, a degloved hand, fractured vertebrae and traumatic brain injury. Six months into recovery, I have become a prisoner of my situation with little hope towards finding freedom. I don’t understand why I am alive if the consolation prize is being so limited in my abilities both personally and professionally. The emotional and mental impact of processing this trauma creates anxiety, overwhelm, confusion, depression, and anger often. I was so worried my legs were paralyzed at the crash site, but my whole life feels paralyzed.

When my body, brain, and capabilities are removed, as an artist what am I to do? The expression “It’s not the camera, it’s the photographer” rings true, as I now must photograph with my iPhone and use different apps to express the stages of recovery. These will be displayed in 5x7 snow globe frames isolating each phase of recovery in its own container of swirling confusion.

Instead of feeling like a victim in this cage of limited capacity, I choose to create. I courageously confront and capture this transformative process I’ve been forced into. It is all I can do to escape and transmute the pain.

It’s not what happens, it’s how we respond to it. I didn’t die for a reason. I hope the gifts I’m finding can uplift others facing challenges beyond their comprehension and give hope when there is darkness.
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