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Reflections: I Will Hold Back The Darkness, So You Can Live In The Light

I look for myself in my daughter, Willow.  She is a tiny reflection of who I was as a child.  Reflections: I’ll Hold Back The Darkness, So You Can Live In The Light, pairs portraits of Willow with self-portraits as a way to explore this.  When a self portrait resides next to one of my daughter, a pathway opens.  This path is one of self-love.  Brene Brown says, “You can only love your children as much as you love yourself.”  I want my children to be as loved as possible.  The significance of these diptychs reflects the importance of home, healthy relationships between a mother and child, and the search for self-love after trauma.
When looking at my self-portraits on their own, I feel this immense loneliness.  When the portrait is placed next to one of Willow, I feel the heaviness of that loneliness begin to lift.  The lifting of that feeling is what makes these pairings powerful.  Inside of myself I see a sad little girl that will forever be a part of me.  I know that my daughter will never know this pain. The little girl I see in her, who is a reflection of me, will always be loved.  She will always have someone to hold her and will always feel safe and heard in her home.  As long as I am alive, my little girl will have someone to look to in times of need. I would do anything for that little girl.  The duality that exists in this ongoing body of work is one that will heal me and, ultimately, free me.

Archival Pigment Prints, 2023