Zoomorphic #1 (Mallard Duck)
I start by painting on my own body, to become a new creature. Then, I set my camera on the tripod and pose. Although it’s make-believe, it doesn’t feel like I’m pretending. Emotions well up inside me. My body moves in unexpected ways. I am expansive, and I do not constrain myself.
In my ordinary life, it is harder to be playful with my appearance. As a woman, I know which facial expressions are acceptable. I know the meanings of different hairstyles. I know what a woman’s clothes say about her. (And I can never quite make mine say something true about me. Getting dressed always feels like pretending.)
I live near the woods and treasure my morning walks there. Among the plants and animals, I am not self-conscious, but am part of an interconnected web of life that transcends any social construct. Perhaps that is why I turn to the natural world for inspiration. The creatures that I become are hybrids, both human and non-human. They are beyond gender, and when I inhabit them, I am free.
Get in touch: ShelbyMeyerhoff.com