I am not compulsive.
I am analytical, methodical and calculated. I spend weeks (often months) researching and writing before I attempt to create anything. This is why I was so surprised with myself and the beginnings of what I have affectionately been referring to as the Mud Prints.
In graduate school, the researching and writing are expected, but there is no time. I found myself working backwards, creating compulsively with little reason as to why. Now it is summer, and my desire to create these intimate portraits of a long lost life is more powerful than ever. The summer has allowed me not only to make, but to think. I wander off into rivers and creeks with a set of three small paintbrushes and an alphabetically organized binder of vernacular photographs. The mud is my paint, the woods my studio. Once again I am longing; once again I am thinking of all the lives I have had (will have) the potential to live.
With each layer of mud, I am erasing myself from what could have been. These are photographic representations of the what-ifs that contribute to my insomnia (leaving home at eighteen, a broken engagement at nineteen, moving across America at twenty-three). These are not decisions I regret; I am in love with the life that I lead: my career, my partner. But I am romantic and I am sensitive and all too aware that of the people I want to be, I can only chose one.
These photographs have become the memorials to all of the Kaitlyns that could have been but never were, that could be but never will. They are my unborn children and uninhabited houses, unwed lovers and unaccomplished dreams. While I live my reality, I record the lives that I have left behind and gone beyond.
“Here I am, a bundle of past recollections and future dreams, knotted up in a reasonably attractive bundle of flesh. I remember what this flesh has gone through; I dream of what it may go through.”