About: Self-Portrait No. 1


If you’ve seen my work to date, it’s pretty clear that I’m a surrealist at heart. I’m that weirdo who finds beauty in the bizarre, who’s forever fascinated with both the seemingly impossible and what lies beneath. So of course my first installment would reflect that side of me. However, I was also keen to explore the notion of duality, which is something that’s affected me for my whole life.

It really used to bother me, the fact that I had no idea how to define myself. As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up as the only person of color in my community, and my adoptive parents had a very authoritarian approach to parenting. So I spent the first 18 years of my life learning how to accommodate and obey, rather than figuring out my own place in the world. I became quite adept at being whatever or whomever people wanted me to be.

However, when I grew older and left my childhood home, I finally started to form my own opinions and beliefs. I began to learn, with certainty, what I liked and didn’t like, and I became more comfortable with conflict. But I never fully shed that wavering personality, and as a result, I became a person of contradiction — a chameleon who loves red when she wears it and hates it when she doesn’t.

So especially in the first piece of this installment, Self-Portrait No. 1, I tried to include as much duality as the image would allow. There are tangible pairs — such as water and air, darkness and light — and intangible characteristics: Is this a story of escape or entrapment? Is she coming or going? Willingly or unwillingly? 

Can you identify the others?

Duality… paradox… gray area… perhaps you can relate? I used to think I was alone in these feelings and characteristics, but I now know that’s far from the truth! Are you also someone who embodies contradiction? If so, get in touch; I’d love to hear your story!