For my undergraduate art thesis, I created a photo series that explored natural landscapes through a tilt-shift lens. The surreal distortions caused by the lens generate a sense of unease, I explained, a kind of psychological tenuousness. These are liminal spaces at the border of an unknown realm, which we can access through a simple shift in focus.
About a decade has passed since I started this photo series, and as I continue to add to it, it occurs to me that what I initially thought was a conceptual project perhaps is actually my own being expressing itself. I constantly find myself in these blurry in-between spaces – fluctuating between feeling grounded and unmoored, present and absent, confident and afraid, extroverted and introverted, quiet and loud, adventurous and tame. Photography too is this way, taking me to communities but keeping me slightly separate from them. And religion, the topic I gravitate toward in most of my work, mediates between the banal and the sacred, the here and the beyond.
In a world often defined by binaries, in-between is a tricky and often turbulent place to be. But there is also much beauty to be found, and much to discover about the self.