5 years ago I started work on "Perceive Me!" It has been a windy, bumpy, beautiful road, which I will admit I am happy is over. Working on one project, planning, organizing, curating, hauling, driving, storing... It was so much work!!
It's crazy to think that it took up 5 years of my life. It was such an important 5 years though. I have had the disease of addiction for a long time now. It is in the vain of an eating disorder. It affects every aspect of my life, including and maybe most importantly body image. For as long as I can remember, I have never liked my body. I have some ideas why, but I can't pinpoint them. My addicted, diseased mind can't get over the idea that my self worth comes from how I am seen on the outside.
"Perceive Me" started out as a project to prove myself wrong. To show myself how beautiful I was. Someone at the closing reception said to me "I hope you can see how beautiful you are!" I have learned so much in the last 5 years. One of the most important things is that there isn't a switch that I can turn on that shows my beauty. It is an ongoing process. An evolution of experiences that I create.
A couple days ago, my friends Tony Pinto and Emily Wiseman suggested I pose nude in the Mesa College Art Gallery exhibition. I knew how significant a statement that could me, but I immediately said no. I don't like my body right now. I am almost at my top weight. I feel fat, inflamed, bloated, slow, unflexible and miserable. I don't like how my body is changing through age too. I went back and forth and just didn't want to do it. I was good with "Perceive Me" closing on this wonderful note at Mesa College Gallery.
Then I show up to the gallery, talk with Debbie Korbel, Kerri Sabine-Wolf and her mother Kathleen Sabine and I realized I could do it. No one else was in the gallery so I took off my clothes and Debbie shot the photos.
I showed a couple of people what I was doing and everyone thought it was the perfect end to "Perceive Me." Another friend said, "I think you see yourself bigger than you are." That was so interesting. Talk about perception. Although feeling big and seeing myself big are two different things. But I am looking forward to creating new experiences moving forward that will help me process my body image and see the beauty both inside and out.