Metamorphosis is a term that can be interpreted in many different ways and in many different circumstances. Lately, I have been drawn to the symbolism of the butterfly as a creature of change and how I can relate to this transformative insect. On a personal level, I am greatly anxious of the great changes that are about to occur in my life in this upcoming year. I am almost done with graduate school, I am going to start a full time teaching position after graduation, and my husband and I are hoping to start a family soon. All of these upcoming changes in my life are different from other forms of change because I can see them coming. I am anticipating them with great expectations but at the same time, I am also filled with fear and anxiety about how different my life will be a year from now.
I have adopted the visual form of the butterfly in my imagery by using my body as a symbol for transformation. I have doubled and reversed my form in a series of self-portraits to create a composition that is mirrored and reflective. The images are printed using the tintype process, which is a historic process that I transformed by using contemporary imagery. I experimented with the emulsion by adding elements of water streaks and paint in order to represent the unknown when change is imminent. The presentation of these tintypes is on old, worn windows. I chose these windows because I wanted to transform them from being simply windows to a different purpose- housing pieces of art. The windows also reiterate the reflective quality of the imagery as well as the metallic surface of the tintypes. I also see the windows as a symbol for a gateway into something new. They can be seen as a clear barrier where the other side is visible, but not quite yet attainable.
Creating this work was a very cathartic experience for me. Learning the process, experimenting, getting frustrated, almost giving up and then finally being satisfied with the outcome were all part of the process of creating this work. Creating these pieces from concept to end result has helped me to become more self-reflective about my own life and the changes that lie ahead.