Collection: Reconciliation of Shadows

April Dawes

Over the course of the past two years, as a result of a recent move to Oklahoma and the pandemic quarantine, I found myself in a prolonged period of relative isolation. It was during this time that I began reflecting on my life; how I view myself, my beliefs and the events or experiences that have shaped my character and continue to influence the choices I make.

From an early age we are directed by our families, peers and society as to what thoughts and behaviors are good or bad; acceptable or unacceptable; normal or abnormal. We process this information and often conform to these expectations despite our personal inclinations. Based on this feedback, we undergo a sort of “self-pruning”, in which we actively reject those thoughts and behaviors that have been deemed as “wrong”. As a result, we may unknowingly place constraints on our capabilities, stifle creativity and suppress our authenticity into the shadows. Ironically, what are viewed as weaknesses by some may actually be the very attributes that allow us to make meaningful and significant contributions within society.

This body of work is an introspective look at how I have been shaped by events and influences in my own life; questioning perceived good and bad qualities and bringing shadows to light in order to live and create with authenticity. It is my aim to connect with the viewer on an emotional level, inviting them to draw comparisons between the energy expressed in my work and their own experiences.

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