I am using photography to navigate through personal trauma and grieving by exploring everyday mundane domestic objects and landscapes as representations of myself. I make very personal work, and use photography as a visual dairy and narrative of my life. The work I make is often a direct reaction to things I face day to day in my personal life. My thesis body of work, Phantom Limb is a personal diary and narrative of my life surrounding my previous partner Elijah's suicide this past year. I chose to make this thesis body of work Phantom Limb, in order to navigate through my personal trauma and grieving by exploring these mundane domestic objects and landscapes as representations of myself and my soul. Most of the still lives I photograph are found objects in the world, and act as an analogy for the grieving that surrounds me constantly in my daily life. These things all represent how common trauma can be and that I did not have to directly show myself within the photograph for it to be seen as a self portrait as well as what trauma can visually look like. I am drawn to these everyday objects due to the lack of normalcy I have been experiencing in my domestic life. I am looking to these things in search for some form of stability that has been lacking in my life since Elijah’s suicide. For me photography was the thing I turned to in order to be able to speak out about such an emotional and challenging topic in order to begin to understand for myself as well as for others outside it. Making Phantom Limb offered me a way to grieve a tragic event and start to properly cope and move on, and to connect to others experiencing similar feelings.
Rachel Monegue is a photographer working primarily in analog, using strictly black and white film to create silver gelatin prints. She is currently a senior enrolled in the photography department at the Maine College of Art; she is to receive her Bachelors of Fine Arts in May of 2019. Rachel was born in Chesapeake, Virginia but quickly relocated to Brunswick, Maine at the young age of two, so she establishes herself as a Maine based artist. She has been working in black and white film and in the dark room for six years, starting in high school up until her senior year at the Maine College of Art. Rachel utilizes the diverse Maine landscape as well as her self portraits and many still lives to create work that is a personal narrative based around the suicide of her partner Elijah, visually portraying how she has grieved and coped with this massive trauma.