The discovery of one's sexual orientation does not have to be frightening, but yet it often is. Societal messages tell queer people to be fearful. LGBT youth receive limited support when figuring out their sexual orientation, identity and intimate relationships.Without this support and foundation, a person may begin to think the kind of connections they crave are not possible, that they are something to be ashamed of. When someone spends their adolescence avoiding a part of themselves, avoiding the types of relationships they want, how does that affect their sense of self work and the way they experience intimacy?
Restaging memories from my adolescence, I explore subliminal desire and expressions of affection, as well as how and internalized homonegativity impacts intimacy. I've specifically focused on memories from my teenage years, the time people are beginning to develop and understand their sexuality. I’ve depicted actions and rituals I associate with coming of age. Lacking the ability to fully understand or accept one's own sexuality, a person finds loopholes to appease that part of themself, finding ways to feel the connection they crave without admitting their feelings.
I used this work to process past experiences. These paintings gave me a place to recognize the fears I still hold on to as well the wonderful experiences I have had by letting them go. Since these feelings of shame and homonegativity are formed by external influence, outside support plays a role in their unlearning. This work was a way to celebrate all love between women, and the thrilling sensations that come with being close to someone. It gave me a chance to evaluate the ways internalized shame and its subsequent unlearning has affected my relationships.
Art is a means to process and express emotions. I paint to make sense of my experiences, feelings and sensations. I am interested in relationships, our relationships with others, our relationship to ourselves, our relationships to our body. Through depicting personal memories and allowing these moments to be viewed, a connection is forged between myself and the viewer. I enjoy allowing my audience to construct their own narratives and conclusions. The scenes are my own, but they can belong to others.