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Instant dye emulsion film (Polaroids)

 
 

The bed witnesses our birth and death

Following AUGUSTUS, I found myself suffocated by the pressure to complete a project. Panic attacks. The inability to eat or sleep. A disconnection from friends and family. For the first time in my life, I did not know what to do.

I found myself staying in my room, attempting to find order in my life.

This began a long period of agoraphobia where I could not travel further than my home. Even visiting my parents was difficult. I wanted the safety of my room, particularly my bed, in case I had a panic attack. This was in complete contrast to my life even a few years earlier, where I wanted to constantly travel and be in new places. For nearly two years, even the thought of getting on a plane made me sick.

 
 
A bed witnesses our birth and death; it is the unvarying theatre in which the human race acts out, successively, its captivating dramas, laughable farces, and dreadful tragedies. It is a cradle bedecked with flowers; it is the throne of love; it is a sepulchre.
— A Journey Round My Room by Xavier de Maistre
 
 

I delved into research, finding sanctuary in the solitary act of reading. I was able to explore without having to leave a space of comfort. At the time, I wanted to be a travel writer and filmmaker, so agoraphobia was not ideal. To keep myself moving forward, I decided to take darkroom classes, wanting to learn more about film photography. The ability to hide for hours in a literal darkroom worked for my current state of mind. I found symmetry for the first time in months.

Looking back, I see this period of my life as a reset. Instead of going abroad to take photographs, I needed to stay home. I needed to slow down. I needed to sow some seeds that might not grow into anything for years to come.

I took some time off from teaching at the university in order to complete a two-year photography degree. I shifted from travel photography to conceptual installations of photography. And I have never looked back.

My bed was the death of one version of myself and the birth of another.