Emily Weeks

Self-Erasure

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I am an artist and yoga teacher from the Pacific Northwest, USA. My awareness grew out of this green, mysterious, misty, mountainous land, and it has deeply affected my psyche and the person I have become. I work in several media including drawing and painting, photography, filmmaking, and animation.

My aim is to seek beauty, connection, and authenticity. An art practice to me is a practice that, like Yoga, draws us closer to our true self. In some ways art is for me a compassionate exposition of the lonely interior of a human soul. Yoga and art for me are physical as well as spiritual practices. I often work with movement, the human body, shape, color, form, sound. I love working with dancers.

Self-Erasure

Some of my photography from the past few years expresses themes of self-erasure.

Here I have collected some images from the past few years that express feelings of self-erasure in different ways. It was not my conscious choice to continually return to this theme, but it was just a way to process difficult experiences that I was having during those times. It is notable that, in all the images, the faces (and sometimes bodies as well) are hidden, obscured, or manipulated in some way. This echoes the loss of self or soul death that results from trauma or abuse. The images express the feeling of being in relationship with someone who does not see one's inner existence.

𝘚𝘦𝘭𝘧-𝘦𝘧𝘧𝘒𝘀𝘦. 2017. 120mm film.

Clouds of white tulle mimic the effects an eraser would have if taken directly to the surface of the photographs.

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𝘞𝘰𝘢𝘯π˜₯. 2017. 120mm film.

Black paint is blood-like, a tactile and visual experience of pain and wound.

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𝘞𝘰𝘢𝘯π˜₯. 2018. 120mm film with digital manipulation.

Subjects physically manipulate their own bodies, deforming them, mutilating them, disemboweling them. The digital manipulation of these shot-on-film photographs echoes the manipulation of the self that one experiences in harmful or abusive relationships.

The grief toward which these images point is actually the locus of healing. We need to go deeper into our grief and give it our loving attention in order to heal. Although these images tell of the obscuring of the spirit, the light within is never lost. No matter how many dark clouds obscure the sun, it is always still there, even if we can't see it yet.

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Note: Alan Robarge's videos on attachment trauma have greatly enhanced my own understanding of abusive or unhealthy relationship patterns and trauma - if you are looking for more information about that, please check them out.

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What can a psychological wound look like when expressed in art? What can this art reveal about our soul and the pathway toward healing?
Wound/Deform
"What happens when you drop down into the dark? Into the place that is close to death? I have travelled there. Let me tell you what I found." Emily shares their experience with panic attacks.
Notes from the Dark
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Eclectic Folk Music and Paper Puppet Animation Converge in "Reverend Elisha Mitchell"
"I realized something the other day, about shame, and how it hinders us."
The Destructive Power of Shame
In her film 'Narrow Alley', Emily Weeks creates a powerful, dangerous female character who has agency.
Female Agency in Film
"Photographing my own naked body is one of the ways I use art as a healing pathway out of trauma, abuse, and shame."
The Reparative Power of Nakedness in Photography
The photography of Emily Weeks explores themes of self-erasure.
Self-Erasure