Sultry, solemn, sensual - the words I would use to describe the work of Meredith.
Silken Lavender are the words I would use to describe the woman herself. A photographer and poet, a gentle mother and muse, her work is both still and impactful, sautéed with feeling rather than sight, a true embrace of the divine feminine.
For today's musings, I've had the inundated pleasure of courting the beautiful Meredith with my ever longing questions. It has been both pleasurable and painful to read the answers she gives; as for us, time difference, family life and global factors make it near impossible for this conversation to be had verbally. And although, there is more ease in spilling the poetry onto the pages we share between us in our small email containers, there is an inner dialogue screaming to be heard in response to the beauty of her words. So much of myself I feel in her essence, so much shadowed wisdom that comes from her experiences here in her earthly body. I feel tempted to continue this conversation in spoken words.
Such a beautiful soul indeed.
I hope that you enjoy...
I wonder, what opened the portal into your self portrait work? Hmm I started taking self portraits in middle school but there was a burst of creativity in me when I started shooting film consistently about 5 years ago, and then another when I became pregnant with my daughter. That most recent one was the most astronomical because I felt the gravity of the fact that this sacred carrying her inside of me was so short, every day a change occurring and i wanted to capture every moment of myself in those stages.
I get the sense that your work both honours and paves the way for your self discovery, do you believe this too to be true? What has grown with you as you work through creation? Oh wow, what a wonderful question. And yes 100% I feel this way. I notice the change in the mood of my photos as my life changes, even as I go through my cycle, taking photos when I am ovulating versus when I am menstruating has such different feelings to them and they show my head-space quite well. I tend to not share the photos of when I am menstruating nearly as much because they tend to be quite a bit darker and more solemn, and they feel more just for myself. A huge growth in me has been allowing myself to keep space for myself to be many many different versions of who I am, and allowing myself to be who I am in front of whoever I am in front of. But first before I can allow that for others to see, I have to accept and see myself, and I do that the most through self portraiture. Whether that is self portraiture in photography, or writing or dancing. I get myself fully in front of myself.
You honour motherhood so beautifully within your art, and your journey into it. Do you have ways to honour it outside of your art space? Honestly this is something I find truly difficult. I love being a mother and my daughter is the most important person in my entire life, but I realise when my head is somewhere else when I am with her or I get caught up in the boredom of mothering my gratitude for it starts to dissipate. I have a few ways of reigniting that gratitude, I have gotten into a pretty good routine of a few hours of hiking every week and daily masturbation and dance and getting that space for myself every week, somewhat a way to honour and mother myself, makes it so that I remember how much I do love this part of my life. I want to treat myself how I treat my daughter, as far as unconditional love goes. I also think a big part of honouring motherhood is allowing myself to be angry or hurt or completely run down and allowing myself the space to admit how hard it can be, instead of pushing that a way and saying I’m fine. A lot of the times I am not fine, and I have two dear friends who I know I can talk to every single day and who want to be there for me. They help me honour that space.
What inspires your work?
I get the most inspiration from my deep emotions, the way nature interacts with itself, the way my body moves and feels itself, and from my conversations with my deepest friendships.
What comes easier for you? The words or the imagery? I would say the words. When I allow them to they come and come and come and my brain sometimes feels like it could explode with the amount of thoughts I have. It can be so overwhelming and I think this is partly why lately I haven’t been able to share as much word wise. I have been writing more than I ever have in my life, and new thoughts have been emerging daily. But it feels like Instagram is too small or narrow a space to share them. I know this isn’t true though, and it is really just something I could get past. But I am unsure if I want to share so much so freely or if I want to keep them all for the possibility of films and books in the future.
Do you have any words of wisdom for anyone discovering their inner creative essence? Allow yourself. Just allow yourself to feel everything your body wants to feel, allow yourself the space to be irrevocably happy. Allow yourself to be unimaginably sad, and allow yourself to have whatever space you need for these emotions. Allow yourself to make art in whatever form you want to in that moment. Whether it is drawing or photography or running or playing in the mud or breaking something. (I know a lot of people may disagree with allowing your emotions to dictate what you do with your body and by no means do I mean allowing yourself to hurt people in any way. Consent and Boundaries of other people always comes first. When I talk about allowing yourself, it is with the understanding that you are first making sure you and the people you love are safe and okay with the ways you will be expressing yourself. And ideally this allowing of yourself to move in any way you need is when you are alone, or with someone who understands what this allowing of yourself means.)
And lastly, how do you let your fae fly free? I think that is how. In allowing myself, not confining myself to strict rules or guidelines that I myself have boxed myself into, and especially not boxes that other people have confided me to. I allow myself to be free from any social norms or ways of being that don’t benefit me. Though this is something I will always be learning and doing better. xoxo Meredith