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I'M LISTENING NOW

Collaged paper, glue, soft pastel. (2020)

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The First Shift.

One of my biggest shifts in relationships is the one with my sister. Growing up (especially our teenage years) we had a very turbulent dynamic. Proper communication was essentially absent, half our words missed the point, or didn’t even get a chance to get close enough. Both of us were stubbornly defensive, and anything she said to me I viewed as pretentious, obnoxious, and narcissistic. It was difficult to look at old photographers of us being close, because that naive, optimistic closeness had shifted to something so hostile. 

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The Second Shift.

For my 15th birthday, my sister (then 17/18) filled a little notebook with notes and advice that ‘imparted wisdom’ on me. This annoys me to write or think about even now. It was written almost like a step by step or categorical guide to life, and I absolutely despised it. I didn’t even open it until a year after. However, our relationship gradually began to improve over time, and now we’re able to understand and sympathise with each other, re-evaluating our past despite how difficult of a topic it is. Now that I'm older, I re-read her notes and laugh.

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