With COVID-19, my work has changed. I no longer have access to woodshops or people to interview, so I’ve been using my time to take another look at identity and how people treat one another. Instead of using my work to explore someone’s identity, I started using it to represent the loss of identity. When someone is placed in a group, there is a loss of oneself. This can be seen in mob mentality, social justice, hive mind, or even just in a group of friends. When you are with others, you will do things you would never do on your own, you lose a sense of yourself. There’s an irony to it, for when I look at my past work as a whole, I lose a sense of individualism, which is exactly the opposite of what I was trying to do. They all become just a number, just like people do in the real world.

When you're alone, you are the most human. It's easier to become conscious and self aware of our place in the world. It's almost spiritual. Being alone can bring forth depression, longing, content, peace, and loneliness. In groups, we mask out true selves. We become less human, animalistic, just emotions running high on happiness and momentary bliss. We become a collective that lacks identity.

Is this a bad thing? No, not really. Being with people brings joy, passion, and empathy, things that are needed to be human. It's just interesting that we feel the most comfortable when we are the least ourselves.

In this work, I have been making photographs that I digitally composite into one image that represents this idea. In this new work, I use hands that are not the individual’s to show the invisible control that other’s have on our lives. These images are not supposed to be comforting, for there is something inherently disturbing about this loss of identity. My goal is to combine this with my past collage technique, and I have been playing around with cyanotypes to achieve this. I am still early on in this method of photography, but my eventual goal is to expose these photographs onto cyanotype coated collages that help express the meaning behind each piece. I am excited to see where this work will lead me in the future.

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