Meditations on Being a Phoenix

artist statement

The Phoenix is reborn from its own ashes. It moves from one life stage to the next fearlessly and without much but a small ceremony of fire to carry it. It lives for generations through reinvention, a rising up from the past and moving forward. She is not bound to one definition of herself carved out by time and place because there is always more to come. The Phoenix is a solitary traveler bound only to herself and her power to shift, change, grow and know herself more with each fire. She does not subscribe to cultural standards, she does not participate in expectations others have for her. She tries on these things, she wears them with her feathers, she learns, she burns, she goes on.

The self-portraits from the series Meditations on Being a Phoenix use visual metaphors to relay the emotions and experiences from my life within a culture that participates in narrowly constructed ideals of what it means to be female and considers how these constructs influence self-identity.

It takes time and conscious effort to know yourself outside of the ideals imprinted upon you. Like the mythological Phoenix that bursts into flames at the end of each life cycle to be reborn from its own ashes, I am burning off the notion that my worth might be measured in form and features rather than by my actions, kindness and intelligence.

Each work in this series combines photography, pigments and encaustic wax which creates surface marks that parallel the marks and impressions cultural expectations can make on an individual.