November 21, 2019 – December 29, 2019
Artist Statement for Sabella, the monarq
The complexity of identity has fascinated me for some time now. What strikes me most is how paradoxical the idea of selfhood is. For instance: we are always ourselves and yet constantly in flux, changing and developing based on a multitude of different factors and environments. In each of us there is the possibility of becoming someone else—or at least demonstrating a multiplicity that makes us unique and gives us life.
My move to the Pacific Northwest led me to re-examine the factors shaping my identity. New geography and culture sparked new ways of looking at both internal and external landscapes. Pressing questions arose: How do I make a home after leaving home behind? How do I integrate the past into potential futures? Channeling these concerns through photography, collage, pattern making, and portraiture, I have developed a multidisciplinary body of work that engages this fundamental yet elusive concept of selfhood.
To explore identity through my photography, I embrace the limitations of analog form while pushing at its boundaries. My polaroids visualize the fragmentary terrain of the remembered as a small flash of a moment, a little out-of-focus. They serve to represent the subjective experience itself: its shadows, its bursts of color, its layers. By carefully manipulating the photographic process, through the use of double exposure, for example, I create layers that simulate our recollections, the way they overlap, blur and distort. Images encountered in daily life—of foliage, of a shelf of books—appear through reflective surfaces that texture and distort. They speak to how true selfhood is multifaceted. It has fractures but also patterns in ways of being. In this way, my artwork articulates a modulating identity in search of new modes of expression.
Understanding that one’s self and place are ever on shifting ground, my work decontextualizes and defamiliarizes the many articulations of identity in order to formulate, and reformulate, the paradoxically unsettled and yet settling self.