The initial shoot was done in November. The concept had been rolling around in my head for quite a while, but now, just a few months after my husband’s passing, it took on new meaning.
Visualizing emotion in the form of photography based mediums has been the focal point of a two-year project entitled ‘If Only in a Dream.’ It explores the incredibly intense emotion we feel when confronted with life-changing events. It conveys the desire to survive the experience and thrive.
This segment of the project, ‘Hidden,’ was intended to document the deep desire to hide oneself in a cocoon-like state. It is a normal reaction to trauma, one most of us have experienced at some point in our lives.
In the process of executing this project, I discovered that visualizing one’s emotions in a creative way enables one to express themselves verbally as well. The actual process opens up pathways in the brain that pushes one beyond initial thought to an expanded understanding and depth of realization. The practice resulting from the process has proven invaluable.
It wasn’t until February that I realized the completion of this segment. The images sat there in my Lightroom catalog waiting patiently for me to work with them. I knew they were important. I knew they needed special, innovative editing. But what?
My dear friend Debbie had come all the way to San Diego for a visit. Debbie has been my creativity buddy for … well … ever. We have intersected in our styles and mediums over the years at various time. She has a completely unbridled colorful aesthetic. We were doing what creative people do when they get together, talk about what we would love to do, are doing, have done. We went on photo shoots and watched instructional videos in our downtime.
Then it hit me! I could overlay my still life images to create a floral element. But I would first give them a little ‘Circular’ treatment on the iPad with the Circular app. (Debbie is always using her iPad for photo editing.) This gave the work a surreal, otherworldly feel.
I discovered a new process, a new way of combining layers of styled imagery and textures, bringing in my love of still life into the mix. It has now become a practice. A playful way to spend my evenings. A way to open up those pathways in my brain, spending time experimenting.
I love the process as well as the result. I love how digitally layering each element expresses the many layers of our experiences, moods, and being.
Our best work is created when we are in a state of play, I am thoroughly convinced of that.
The remainder of the series ‘Hidden’ can be found here.
The iPad app I used is this one.
More on processing emotion can be found here.