Artist Statement - Heather Walsh
As a photojournalist, I tell the stories of others. To tell these stories with compassion and empathy requires a personal connection. I am comfortable with being uncomfortable. I wait to be invited by the people I photograph. I try not to rush in. Each portrait is a collaboration made with the understanding the sitter decides how much of their lives they are willing to share. At that moment, I write their histories with my camera.
In this pandemic, personal connection is disrupted. The physical distance and masks make us feel disconnected and afraid to get close. It interferes with our natural instinct to gather, to touch each other, to return an unseen smile. Until we can comfortably be together again, I turn the lens on to myself, telling my own story and uncovering new barriers. In front of the camera I am discovering that this vulnerability requires bravery.