Chelsea Emuakhagbon

: Photographer, Writer, Videographer

Artist Overview

My work has always brushed the surfaces of home and safety. My process first begins by yielding toward attempts to question the reasoning behind the passivity encircling the lack of clarity when it comes to the desperate crying out for safety within and around the lives of black bodies. Bodies not only trying to prove their significance, but also merely desiring to exist in simplicity and comfort. In other words, I first begin by introducing an alternative focus to whatever unrest I find lingering around melanated existence. Rather than asking, “why?”, I first ask, “what?” What happened to the perpetrator of said violence? What response have authority figures had to his/her/their upbringing? What exactly is the biblical definition of the separation between church and state? What has America done to restore the relationship between its inhabitants and its “victims”? What defines an American victim? And so on…With this current work, I found rest in the anatomy of the “safe place”. Its form, its structure, its makeup and composition. This work is and acts as a needful pause within the process of deconstructing and questioning. A deep breath and final selah before the page turns and a new chapter begins, Safe Place exists as home for the weary traveler to find rest before the new journey begins. Accompanied with gentle words of enduring affirmation acting as a reminder that even wanderers are led back home, the work beckons in all as equals. Resisting the urge to act as a statement, the work itself is home. And this home remains still, with open doors of restoration and a faithful presence. A table carved out for all to grab a seat, surrender their weapons, and yield towards understanding the side formerly forsaken.

Artist Bio & Experience

When making a portrait I attempt to make emotional and physical representations of the body positioned in front of the lens. I attempt to create a type of exchange between the viewer and the body within the image, even if only momentarily. I hope to extend the viewer an opportunity to take this exchange back into the world, and engage with it with new perspectives in mind. My desire is to remain hopeful, and so I make portraits with hope within them. I desire to create a palpable sense of the truths that I (and we) live by. The works asks for a few things. One of them being to sincerely, honestly, and truthfully present to the world examples of the lives lived within each image. Each of these portraits was made as an extension of protection—for any and every black body lost within the cruelty of a broken world. Here, within this lens, we’re all safe.

CV found here:

Artistic Services I can provide

Photography and writing services

Video Gallery

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