The Moon Belongs to Everyone Project Statement
The Moon Belongs to Everyone (2014-2021)
We lived in a densely wooded area on Long Island. I knew the scent of pine trees in summer, the changing colors of the maples in autumn, and the way the light glittered through their branches year round. I have vivid memories of long solitary bike rides, zooming down hills with the wind blowing through my hair. Traveling those same paths year after year provided comfort and security. That familiar landscape quite literally grounded me; it was home.
I emigrated just after my 30th birthday. In Australia, the oddly shaped trees, the warm yellow of the sun, and the red tones of earth were enchanting at first. Soon though the distance seeped in and the novelty wore off. As time passed, I felt lost, in limbo. As an immigrant, my understanding of place, my sense of personal identity, even the impressions of my memories had shifted. ‘Home’ became a place between here and there. I began to visually explore these themes, making photographs in both Australia and the United States.
My time living abroad was cut short when unexpectedly I returned to live in the US in 2016. At the time, I was certain I would feel immediately at home upon my return, and this project would effectively end. After all, I already had an established connection tvo my homeland. However, those same feelings of estrangement that I felt when I first emigrated to Sydney were actually reinforced; it was as if I were a foreigner yet again. I was compelled to continue to photograph through these emotions, keenly aware that the connotations of the term “immigrant” were changing rapidly.
The Moon Belongs to Everyone reflects upon the loss of roots and the search for belonging in the wake of immigration. It is a visualization of the in-between, of identity located in the cross hairs between the dissonant and the lyrical. The solitary subjects of the portraits are unknown to each other, having come from different parts of the world – yet they are caught in a similar liminal space, hovering somewhere between ‘there’ and ‘here.’ Viewed together in sequence, individuals are seen through the lens of a collective consciousness. Landscapes shift ‘day’ and ‘night,’ ‘above’ and ‘below,’ or ‘there’ and ‘here.’ Still lifes act as referents to collective memory, and ’place’ is experienced as a crossroads between origin and destination. Overall, the flow of images presents an alternating landscape of both time and perspective.
Sequence in the photobook operates like a musical score. The arrangements of color, pattern, and figure carry tempo, breath, and rhythm throughout each section of the book. Black and white images are printed on black paper with silver ink, furthering the experience of being ungrounded. With full bleed spreads from beginning to end, the photobook operates like a self-contained universe.