Emma Dorst


I have faced many challenges that have forced me to grow, and I no longer feel that I am the same person I was. When I look to the past it feels as though I have died and come back anew, but all for the better. Renascence depicts the journey I have taken through the cycle of life, death, and rebirth.

The self-portraits in this sequence are printed on silk and show me wandering through the natural landscape. The fabric provides a sense of flexibility, akin to the idea of change. It also calls back to the dress I made that I am seen wearing throughout the photographs. The garment is a pure object that is slowly being dirtied over time, reminding me that I too will forever have marks from the past.

During my journey I find myself slowly returning to the earth and merging into the landscape, until I am reborn. This visual depiction of rebirth mirrors the physical, mental, and emotional changes I have experienced from childhood to adulthood. For many years I was lost, forced to wander my internal landscape in hopes of finding the person who disappeared so many years ago. These photographs mark the point in my life where I feel I have finally found that person. They serve to remind me that I am capable of change and becoming something that I am proud of; that I am not stuck in a mind and body that is doomed for failure. I can always come back better than before.