Self-Portraiture: A Journey

My name is Ellen. I've been alive for twenty-three years and I am excessively self-aware.

Life is yours to make and if you don’t grab it by the hand and run with it, you’ll be stuck in 50 years time wondering why you didn’t.

For as long as I can remember I have been overly conscious of my life unravelling before me, from acknowledging when I have learned a lesson in life to knowing what comes next in my journey, and subsequently making a huge plan around this.

Yet, here lies massive irony, because as confident as I am in my awareness of life, I realise I know nothing; that I am, in fact, subconsciously learning and completely unaware of it. Even as I write this with an air of all-knowing, I really don't have a clue what I'm talking about.

I wonder if this is a semi-consciousness that resides in all human beings, and awakens at certain stages in life to start dancing in one's head, tapping its feet on your cerebral cortex and leading you to write ambiguous blog posts.

Nonetheless, it is a frustrating companion to have. I know exactly where I want to be in life and how to get there, but I'm fighting a never-ending battle with time moving too slow and simultaneously moving too fast, meaning I am desperate to reach this point in life but don't want to grow old trying.

2014 has been the first year of my short twenty-three that this consciousness has had a form of expression. I realise, through the inspiration of other artists and wise words of the Greats, that your life is yours to make and if you don't grab it by the hand and run with it, you'll be stuck in 50 years time wondering why you didn't.

I'm giving to you an account of my last three self-portraits taken in the latter 6 months of 2014. To further my description of being simultaneously aware and unaware, these were all taken with a consciousness of purpose, yet it was not known that they would link together to form a journey.

A Nightingale No Longer Singing

After a year of no self-portraiture and barely picking up my camera, I had finally had enough. Life had me on my knees and I was desperate for a way to communicate this to someone. I found myself helplessly standing in front of my camera, injured and lifeless, my head raging with silent screams.


Rebirth of Flora

Fast-forward just three weeks and I'd produced another self-portrait, yet with a new life inside of me. I had never realised the power of expression could carry so much weight, not only by sending a message to other people but to actually listen to that message yourself. Life stopped pushing down on my shoulders, picked me up by the waist and turned me around. I saw everything in a new light and felt a sense of rebirth, back into the world I already knew but with an altered perspective. Things were looking up.



Phoenix Rising

Keep on striking and a spark will ignite.

Thank you for reading.

- Ellen -