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“Each day, we wake slightly altered, and the person we were yesterday is dead. So why, one could say, be afraid of death, when death comes all the time?”- John Updike
I’ve grown because of loss. I’ve realized a larger connection with growing and loosing that wasn’t obvious to me before. There are deep places before loss that are not found until after. The work has been exploring my new life.
This work started in a deeply personal space, making to try to see if I could exercise any understanding. Loss changed my relationship to the world. What I once glazed over then became vitally important in my life. Riding in the car was a new experience. I felt like a dog, most of the time the destination became unimportant but riding was necessary.
The after of loss is messy, hard to talk about, painful, beautiful, and tender… loss seeming so vast in its form that it becomes everything. The sight of someone grieving returns you to that taste of everything. It’s physical to witness a stranger grieve. The role of loss became interesting to me in how it might relate us; I want to feel a community. I don’t know your loss and you don’t know mine, but we might understand the depth of loss, and so feel ourselves and our intrinsic connection more fully.
Loss necessarily stains our lives. We are never who we were yesterday and have no conception of who we’ll be tomorrow. We are growing up but it becomes a question of how, not if. How can this growing, and inevitably loss, mean more than solitary pain? How can the confusing and the inexplicable and the unfamiliar play larger roles in our lives?
The soldiers were born from the unfamiliar. I am searching for icons, symbols that could point to more narrative forms of loss. In my search the soldiers represented a common icon that could represent both trauma but also the idea of communal marching towards some unknown future in which loss is not a taboo to run away from, but to embrace. They are faceless individuals to each other, carrying their individual plight, but are still moving together.
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Brown, Eve Jameson, "We Are Growing Up" (2016). Senior Projects Spring 2016. 440.
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