The Woods is an (ongoing) photo project exploring how I coped with the deep loneliness and isolation I felt as a child.
During my pivotal, turbulent early years, I escaped from the tension and unhappiness in my home by retreating into a wooded area where I would hide out, play and explore. My withdrawal into imagination and an (uneasy, self-conscious) solitude proved to be both a blessing and a curse; I developed a rich fantasy life, an appreciation of nature and literature, and an unspoken belief that hidden magic lay everywhere. But I also became secretive, lonely, and far too skilled at disappearing. As I grew up, I feared revealing myself to others. I had spent so much time hiding that I had difficulty with being seen.
The Woods was shot in collaboration with my daughter at ages 10 and 11, using personal items saved from my childhood. Originally I began shooting a straightforward narrative about her childhood, but it became clear to me that I needed to reinterpret my own before I could let it go. The Woods evolved into an acceptance and reclaiming of my painful past history, by recreating, seeing, and then releasing remembered moments in time. I am moving beyond the hiding and isolation that once sustained me, toward engaging with others and finding my voice.