Yesterday I did an interview with an MFA student who needed to interview a full-time photographer. She asked me a lot of questions about creating personal work and staying inspired while running a business and I told her about this image and the significance of it in my life as an artist. I took a photography workshop in 2007 with Doug Beasley and right before I made this image I was feeling frustrated and lost with my work, not feeling inspired to create and just feeling a little lost in life. The rest of the workshop attendants went back to the house where we were staying and I lingered behind at this rustic old cabin, craving some alone time with my thoughts and the land around me. I saw this rickety old chair in the cabin and pulled it out into the field. I didn’t know what I was going to do with it but when I set it there, I made two pictures on my Holga camera and a few with my digital. I ended up doing quite a few self-portraits with the chair and by the end felt inspired and rejuvenated. When I looked at this image when I got the film back, I felt deeply connected to it. I realized that it was a self-portrait that expressed exactly how I was feeling at the time-a little unstable, a little fragile, a little empty…to this day, this is one of my favorite images I’ve ever made because it’s deeply connected to me. That’s what art should be. It should be an expression of your experience, your emotions, your thoughts, your life…Doug Beasley has taught me to look inward when creating images rather than outward. I love approaching art that way, however challenging and vulnerable it may be.
Minnesota Film Photographer