The safer-at-home order that is currently in place in Wisconsin feels somewhat familiar to me. I’ve lived with chronic pain since 2007, when, in an attempt to correct my severe scoliosis, a surgeon fused my spine by replacing the cartilage between thirteen of my vertebrae with bone graft. Ten titanium screws – one of which was misplaced and impeded my spinal cord, and two metal rods were also put in. I’ve experienced long periods of time where I was unable to leave the house, or even stand up. In 2018,
I had the rods and screws removed from my back, plus another surgery months later to treat the additional nerve damage caused by the hardware removal. I’ve re-learned how to walk twice. Part of my right leg hasn’t worked for the last two years because of damage to the nerves in my back, and my spinal cord continues to leak fluid inside my body.
Photography allows me to shift my perspective of myself and my circumstances. Through my photos, I can transform feelings of isolation into solitude, and my own vulnerability into strength. The themes I’ve often explored in my work are now being felt by others during this pandemic. With these photos I’ve taken during the pandemic, in my apartment and neighbourhood, I wanted to capture images that outwardly reflect how myself and others have been feeling inside.
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