On The Periphery Life Going By

Artist Statement

This body of work, On The Periphery Life Going By, underscores a dichotomy of an inner and outer life. It is a reflexive narrative of an undefended self. Following a period of great personal losses, including health and family, I met two sisters, Talia & Maya (8 & 11), who were home schooled. There was an immediate, soul connection and a bond quickly ensued. I was drawn to their mystique, their discordant interactions. While I have always bonded easily with children, our connection felt the most visceral and before long they had become my muses, and like family. Serendipitously, a camera and the girls came into my my life simultaneously. While my inner world wrestled with questions regarding despair vs. life, the experience of caring, influencing, and photographing the girls was filled with great joy and deep fulfillment. Our collaboration made the unbearable bearable. Not only was this series focused almost solely on Talia & Maya (and occasionally a friend of theirs) for more than 4 years, but the whole of my life very much revolved around them as well. Life and art were one and the same. They became surrogate children, if you will, and the experience is the closest I’ve lived mother as artist, artist as mother. The process of making these pictures has helped to challenge ideas of my ultimate significance. This became the safest way to be outside myself. The photos themselves brought life into focus and record aspects of one’s essential nature. The series is comprised of 3 parts representing the disparate aspects of the souls journey, ultimately woven together creating the whole. My approach was responsive and mostly spontaneous, neither posed nor contrived. As a result of the process I have been urged on in my work, despite my debility. Thusly, the camera became a lifeline; through my work I find proof of my existence and a connection to life.

editions of 20 (plus 1 AP)

gelatin silver
8×10, 11×14, 16×20, 20×24

(© Revelation Must Be Terrible, David Whyte)