SICK LEGACY

My work considers the hidden experiences associated with having an invisible disability. The work originates from my personal experiences as both a sick and disabled person and the consequences of living with this label and identity. The sick self is the private self, the hidden self. In this age of identity affirmation, it is the last area of the self that is still private and intentionally concealed. It is still only acceptable to discuss the particulars of a sick experience or disease process with doctors and the other mediators of the medical world. If it is discussed elsewhere, it is in vague generalities… never in “polite company”, never in public, and never in detail. Even the closest family and friends can be squeamish and uncomfortable during conversations about what are considered abject subjects. It is difficult to talk about the fact of your own subjectivity, vulnerability, fragility, and mortality. My work seeks to break this barrier down by confronting the viewer with visual representations of invisible illnesses and disabilities and revealing the hidden experiences of moving through an impersonal and dehumanizing medical system. I use beauty and craft to draw the viewer in before they realize that what they are looking at is a representation of something repulsive. Juxtaposing the abject and the beautiful, the work can elicit feelings of empathy in the viewer, providing a starting point for having conversations about uncomfortable subjects.