I am a cancer survivor. I know it is a cliché, but it’s the kind of experience that changes you.
I'm eternally grateful, but surviving came with a price: long-term therapeutic cancer drugs that left me cognitively drained. To be frank, the treatment robbed me of the creative and spiritual resources to be an artist. It made me feel disconnected from life.
In 2013, I decided to stop taking the anti-cancer drugs, which were a part of a long-term trial thought to be necessary for remission. Then, I took a trip to Alaska, hiked on top of a glacier, and everything changed. The arctic environment made me excited to be alive. I knew, at that moment, not taking the drugs was the right thing to do.
Since then, my artistic process has evolved towards a singular obsession to the photographic landscape. It’s where I feel the most connected; believing that being in the presence of nature heals.
The way I see it, the land, the mountains and trees help me connect to a primal part of myself. I feel as if I belong in the pictures I take. With respect to the landscape, I see no difference between the icebergs in the Arctic to the desert of California. There is an attachment to environments that struggle to survive, like I did. I simply feel connected in ways that words can never describe.
While I'm glad to be in remission, obviously, I do struggle with the shadow of a recurrence. It’s a challenge to live with that fear, to not look behind but to move forward and live in the present. My art practice allows me to channel this compromising energy into something positive: the act of creation.