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I am here, too.
Featuring Abigail Harrison abbyathenaphoto.com
Dates: October 1 – November 14, 2021
Events: Opening Reception October 8, Closing Reception November 14, Artist Talk TBA
I am here, too is an exhalation through portraiture, an inner reckoning with sexual abuse turned self-abuse. Focusing on my body and the space around it, I am mapping the process of radical self-possession and recovery from an eating disorder. The consistent use of shadows and silhouetting reflects mental illness, or, the “other” version of myself. This visual “other” lets me differentiate my thoughts from those of my mental illness. I shy away from busy or complicated frames so the viewer focuses solely on the body and its movement. The superimposed handwriting is selected from two sources. The first source is over a decade of journal entries
from my adolescence, and communicates the tight grip my eating disorder had over me. The second source is some of my poetry from the last two years, and shows the forgiveness I eventually found for myself. This work also maps my evolving relationship with my mother, and the role this relationship played in my recovery. My mother both mirrors and contradicts me. Placing us in similar frames and making photos with parallel lighting elicits the conflict of our relationship, which is defined by contradictions pain and pleasure, envy and joy, desolation and warmth. Her complex expressions and turbulent movements remind me of the mental freedoms I sought in recovery. I intend for this collection to be forceful in its message but mellow in its delivery. It is a tableau of healing, a space to mitigate the complexities of mental illness and familial relationships
Based in the American West, Abigail Harrison is a documentary photographer and visual storyteller interested in the shifting relationships between people and their chosen environments. Her work revolves around the theme of transformation, specifically focusing on climate change, mental health, and social inequality. She sees these themes play out in the contradictions of everyday life, which invert the status quo and lend greater depth to our lived experiences.