My dear friend and frequent collaborator Katie Johnson has recently started a new video series which profiles the artists she works with frequently. I was honored to be featured in the first of her videos! She put a great piece together which includes an interview with me and lots of behind-the-scenes peeks into how we work.
Take a look!
I often think of lines from the song the princess sings in Peter S. Beagle’s legendary work The Last Unicorn:
“Oh, I am a king’s daughter
And I grow old within
The prison of my person
The shackles of my skin
And I would run away
And beg from door to door
Just to see your shadow
Just once and nevermore”
“The prison of my person, the shackles of my skin” perfectly describes how I feel about my physical body most days. Though I doubt Mr. Beagle had ME in mind when he wrote it, it resonates so strongly with me. And I’m sure people with other chronic illnesses will be able to identify with it; it’s a pretty universal problem across the chronically ill spectrum.
Feeling so trapped has always made me instantly know something of what Amalthea felt at finding herself in human form. I imagine it was even harder for her though. The disharmony we chronically ill feel with our body was something I’d wanted to express in my Enchanted Sleep series for quite a while and I was glad to finally bring the image to life!
There’s something more visceral about images than you often can’t replicate with words. Words are powerful, they can build and tear down mountains, but the visual world offers the same information in a different form. One that, if used well, can strike like a snake and bring instantaneous understanding. That’s my hope with this series; to illustrate the life of a person with myalgic encephalomyelitis in a way that reaches where words cannot.
I will admit… I’d beg from door to door just to catch a glimpse of a unicorn’s shadow too 🙂
Here’s a look at the final image from our shoot:
And a detail shot: