The series of self-portraits in Shock depict my entry into mourning. At once private and confessional, its images expose the profound devastation I experienced with my mother’s passing. In the aftermath of her death, my life was stripped bare, as though light and colour had been extracted from my world, rendering me alone in the darkness. I grasped for some way to live in a world without her guidance.
These treescape portraits attend to the foreign and strained experience of suffocating under the loneliness of grief, while also feeling closed in and observed like an object of curiosity by well-intending loved ones offering sympathy. I yearned for my mother’s presence while also leaning away from the solace of friendship. Each image in Shock is set against a stark black background—a contained terrarium of grief, observed in isolation. The beauty of the natural landscape sharply strikes against the darkness, a silhouette of longing, of solitude, even of hope—a document of the traumatic impact that marked the crisis of losing my mother.