Indiana University BFA Painting Thesis // 2012
My best friend Julia took a motorcycle safety course in April of 2011. On a simple riding exercise her bike got away from her and she suffered a tragic accident. For the next eight days I had the privilege of staying by her bed in the Intensive Care Unit. I watched her shift from an unconscious to conscious state and get through two surgeries, numerous tests, her first day of physical therapy, and the day she learned she had been paralyzed. Sitting at her bedside, I didn’t quite know what to do with myself. I had never seen someone so close to me in such pain. I got out my sketchbook and began drawing. The more I drew, the more comfortable I felt and the more I began to process this catastrophic event.
I have been using the drawings and photographs from that week to continue processing my thoughts about Julia’s accident. Her face has been a constant figure in my life since I was four years old. Part of my fascination with her accident is due to the fact that all of a sudden, a face and body I was so familiar with changed so abruptly. My paintings and drawings have allowed me to become familiar with that part of her life and have allowed me to understand what it means for a body to break down and slowly reassemble itself. My work refers to this fleeting, yet destabilizing, chaotic, and life-altering moment.