A Dancer's Reflections

Being cloistered in my home from the pandemic brought novel challenges to my mental health that pushed me to find new ways to feel balanced and whole. Normally a buoyant and joyful person, without the relational connections that had been cut off by isolation, I often found myself emotionally depleted. My primary source of solace came from my photography and the worlds of my neighbors' own seclusion. 

 

Outside on the deserted streets, I began gazing at my neighbors' homes with my camera. Each windowpane fragmented not only the images inside, but the stories they told, taking me to places and times other than the one I was in. These abstracted reflections allowed me to reimagine my environment and carried me to places unknown. 

Returning home and uploading my images felt like receiving unexpected gifts. Editing and culling through my photos was very stimulating work and helped to ward off the COVID lethargy. This process acted to alter my everyday world and recall my sense of wonder. It reacquainted me with my child within and allowed me to "play" with my imagination. 

During this heightened time of quarantine, I found myself seeking ways to metaphorically highlight the myriad of feelings that I and others were experiencing. These emotions ran the gambit from fear, depression, disbelief, anger and acceptance. The world had been turned on its head, never to be the same. Coupling the movement of this dancer with a variety of window reflections seemed to capture the intensity that forced isolation had played on the sanity of many. 

This was a communal experience on a grand scale, crossing all boundaries and sparing no one. My hope was that by identifying with these blended images, the viewer would feel less alone. Those embracing these composites could be uplifted by how the dancer, in each photograph, responded to new settings and conveyed a sense of freedom. If there were a silver lining during these trying times, it could be the possibility of people embracing more personal introspection and sensitivity that encourages them to be kinder to themselves and others.