Two photographs taken four years apart, digital print (edition of 3), 36 x 60 in. 2013
Having returned home to visit family some years ago, I would find myself exhausted, infirm, incapacitated and seeking refuge on a sectional couch upon which I'd lay for weeks on end.
Testament to her resilient ability to seek the lighter side of difficult situations, through a lens of humour in my corpse like posture, disheveled hair and state of ease with which I was able to rest on a piece of furntiture so proximal to the hub of activity in their home - my mother decided to take a photo**.
In the moment, she had managed to see past the difficult and mysterious illness which plagued me, and decided to capture the humour in my present vulnerable state, without pity or victimization surrounding the unbeknownst severity of what ailed me.
Mere days after the photo had been taken, after such a brutal and lengthy sickness brought me to lie there amidst the sanctity of mother's comfort; I tested HIV positive.
After diagnosis, I would return again to the sanctity of that couch in my parents home and regress into that very infant state which was only just foreshadowed.
Four years later, after returning home this time to share the birth of my young daughter, I was struck by the redemptive circle of events which had all but erased the memory of that time of sickness and despair.
As I placed my daughter down for an afternoon nap on the opposite side of the very sectional couch that I eventually managed to wake from, I became immediately cognisant of a deeper metaphor. Watching my daughter sleep triggered contemplation on the innocence of the present moment, and a contemplation on a passage in life that I never thought I would live to see; a moment I imagined would never be possible given the circumstance of my HIV diagnosis. Reflection now on this dichotomy is the preservation of a moment which serves to frame my entire relationship with my own mortality, perseverance and hope*. 

Of Hope and Sickness, digital print, 36 x 60 in. 2013
**(Photograph from 2013) - Of Hope and Sickness, 2013
*(Photograph from 2007) - Of Hope and Sickness, 2013

Exhibition view from "Queer Feeling of Tomorrow", Art Gallery of Guelph, 2015

Back to Top