As long as I can remember, creating has been the consistent, sustaining lifeforce for me. Growing up, I didn’t really have a chosen medium, it was really whatever I could get my hands on in the present moment. At the risk of sounding too sentimental, photography is the one thing that sort of “chose me”, or at least makes the most sense for me to invest the most of myself into. I started exploring it more seriously during high school. I was the one to take my friends’ senior photos, and I was often staging elaborately weird shoots for them and a lot of the time, my sister. I also photographed some dinner parties and a few weddings. These tiny opportunities were a glimpse of something that I deeply wanted, but did not yet have the drive to really pursue just yet.
In 2015, an opportunity presented itself to me, and thankfully, I blindly said yes. Jam House Collective was born, took shape, and in the process, affected the course of my life. My life quickly became a whirlwind of weekly shows with a rotating cast of differently talented artists. I immersed myself in doing that, pretending that I had a clue what I was doing (I definitely did not) all the while. It served as a space for me to grow in and allowed me to find my voice creatively. We had a good run, and I know that I learned a lot. Not everything works out every single time. That's okay, you just have to keep going and find what does.
Going forward I have found myself continuing to collaborate with some of these same artists and some new ones, too. These collaborations have grown and sustained me even further, stoking the desire that I have to feel as active as I humanly can.
At this point in time I find myself asking all sorts of big questions, and they seem to be getting bigger by the minute. It feels silly to even type out a few of them, like, “why do we make art?” The best answer I’ve been able to figure for that one is to tell stories, attempt to answer and raise new questions, and to challenge things. That feels too trite, or maybe like it’s a question that doesn’t need answering, and I was right in feeling that silliness. It's a silly question because it demands a definition for art itself (which, granted, is something that I might have had I gone to school). I'm not interested in finding that answer, I'm settled in believing that anything can be art; photography at its core is just taking normal things and moments and crystalizing them, transforming them into that. I may be a little bit biased (or maybe just guilty of attempting to romanticize any and everything, oops…..), but I believe that photography is a transcendent form of art. Our things and our immediate realities are transient; nothing gold can stay. A paradox exists; we have nothing, but at the same time we do have memory, and essentially, memory becomes everything. Photo prints do not last forever, and who knows what the digital future holds. However, during the time that we are given to enjoy photos, I as a photographer have the power to dictate the way that things are remembered. With the power of a camera, the memory that is solely yours becomes accessible to anyone and informs the way that they will remember that, even if they were there when it happened and saw it with their own eyes. Photos exist as proof that it happened, adding an intrinsic value to the photo itself, just by asserting that its happening mattered. I am able to find peace in that, even on the most existentially fraught sort of day, and I don’t think that there is anything more to ask for.
I am so full of gratitude for the people that have entrusted me with their memories, the bands that have given me a platform for creation and collaboration, and all of the friends that have indulged in my creative whims from the very beginning. With all of that being said, this blog post is to be the first of many wherein I will share my new work as it’s being created, and maybe continue pondering those big questions.
Thanks for reading,