March 27th, 2016 - June 13th, 2016 // Flower Presses and Grief

Deep breath. 

June 12th was a major milestone for Interrupted, as I collected my first harvest of the wildflowers I planted nearly 2 months ago. 

It also was the day an individual walked into a nightclub and killed 50 (edit: 49) people in Orlando. As I pressed flowers in the sun of a rural Washington farm; families and friends were frantically searching for their missing loved ones. 

Their tragedy was just beginning. Today (June 13th) they are raw, vulnerable and in pain. They will not be going to school, work or performing typical Monday errands. They will instead be consumed with their loss, managing the media, attending to the inquiries of other loved ones, making funeral arrangments. They will forget to eat. Sleep will come and go as their days feel slower than usual. 

And eventually, after some time, they will go run that errand they originally planned on doing today. They will re-engage with their new life, that appears suspiciously like the old life, only it's missing someone. That is when the grief they experience will shift into something entirely different because the people they love will stay dead. 

As I sat in the middle of nowhere picking fragile and fleeting wildflowers, I felt the weight of what was ahead for these people. I can't ignore it because I've felt it. 

That is what this series is about. 

I'm at that 'overwhelmed' stage where my plans seem far too large to be accomplished. Everything feels loose and disorganized, I'm convinced that I might forget my goals, so the apartment is full of random sketches and notes of ideas, mostly scratched out at 3am when I am I trying to sleep. 

My subject is ambiguous and formless, so I'll need to be focused and keep it at the forefront of my mind. I'll constantly be asking myself if my visuals convey what I set out to bring form too. Which means for the next year or so I'll be confronting and revisiting the worst moments of my life. 

However, because I am a coward, my brain solely wants to focus on the pretty stuff, such as the hidden details and costuming. The pretty ideas I have will need to be examined one by one and edited. I do not want to work this hard for it just be a "pretty thing". 

While I still have a mountain of work ahead of me, I am pleased with the process so far. I have a few test images made, a prototype mocked up, supplies sourced for the costumes and of course, the first of many wildflowers pressed. 

The goal for the next few months is to truly nail down my costume designs and get started in earnest. It would be ideal to have the first shoot completed by late July, but I'll be cautious in my timeline predictions. 


July 2018 Update: "Interrupted" was a project I was working on that hit multiple dead ends, and one significant reason for that was because the work was extremely personal. So personal, that for my mental health, I decided to let the project go.

 However, I did pull from and further examine these ideas, evolving them into (what I believe) a better form, and often include them in my current work.  

While I will likely never finish this version of the "Interrupted" series that I set out to make, I did end up making the foundation of the work you see from me today. -mj

iPhone Photo:  Gus helping with the wildflower pressing. 

iPhone Photo: Gus helping with the wildflower pressing.