My feet, clad in wool socks and wrapped in plastic bags, are tucked warmly within my favorite boots, Steve Maddens, half a size too large. My last pair of boots, the same mark and style, accompanied me through the snowy streets of NYC just last year, down alligator paths in the Florida everglades, and up and down rock-strewn hikes in Australia. Once deemed a favorite pair, my shoes will be worn until their death. A hole in the sole is not a problem until rainy season; tearing fabric on the top, and sneakers remain acceptable until my toes begin to stick out. I bade farewell to my last boots one chilly Portland day, replacements sighted and in hand, not a moment too soon. Just barely a shoe - half the top was affixed to the sole with a bit of gummy glue to thank. As a child I would only wear Payless shoes – their cheap quality and sizing somehow fit my little, unsophisticated feet. Now I scoff my nose at that place, having learned a bit more quality makes for more supported feet and a happier me. Cold feet, and the chill will rise through your body; uncomfortable feet, and your whole back could be thrown out of alignment. I am not overly fancy; I see sale shoes and second hand ones as an acceptable sort, but things that are cheap, rather than inexpensive, have come to have a hidden price.
I hit a turning point this year and realized I am slightly grown up. Not entirely mature, but old enough to bade goodbye to some of my youthful insecurities. I’m 30 and have been living life with my own quirks and flair for the past handful of years. I have been without an apartment of my own for years, and the room that has been mine is barely taller than my body, bent in half. My life has taken a departure from what my adolescent self knew to be my path, having been appointed and grasped onto the title of a musician, knowing no other identity. I stand certain I am an artist but my art in itself is not as clear. Classical music had always been a project to work at, and the chase for perfection a game with no end. On occasion my soul sang through musical line, but the rules held too strictly. My art needs less rules; my art needs release.
Photographed by Tim Bradshaw
One glorious day in Sydney, Australia, Tim Bradshaw and I visited La Perouse, a seaside area popular with photographers. The sun was high, the rocks gorgeous, and we had the place to ourselves; crashing water below the cliffs, small gusts of wind, and warmth to share. This was my first shoot with Tim, and as shoots tend to go, the more we bounced around, enjoying the caffeine high and freedom of space, the better our photos became. As we shot, a mixture of nude frolicking and work, the sun inched down and approached the golden hour. Our decided shoot time had come to a close when the light was perfect, and I urged to keep shooting just a little longer, to make use of the dazzling light. Fearless within the realm of caution, I scooted towards the edge of the rocks, still firmly planted in reality. Pose, click, pose, click, we moved in a dance of body and limbs, until a small crack sounded beneath me, and a few rocks shattered away. I was within safety, but we took the cue that the performance was over.