Location: Denver, Colorado, United States
We are not defined by our fears, but I believe they cut to the core of our being in a way that most other feelings do not.
I spent several years struggling to extricate myself from a bad relationship and stalking that even extended to other countries. Peeking through windows, following me in her car, entering my house, trying to sabotage relationships. I had to get the police involved several times, file multiple restraining orders. My mental and emotional life was a complete disaster. Yet I did my best to keep it hidden. I was too embarrassed to share this with anyone, afraid of what they would think of me for being in such a situation in the first place, afraid of losing work. The longer it went on, the more ashamed I became, leading to further isolation. It made me wonder what others were hiding, what kept them awake, what they were afraid to tell anyone for fear of repercussions. I knew from experience how well a facade can be maintained, that we cannot trust what we see.
Our fears are held closely, and the experience of them is intensely personal and often isolating. I’ve asked strangers to share their fears and be photographed, an act of courage perhaps made easier because they did not know me. For some, the experience was cathartic, a first step in confronting their own demons. For others, our collaboration offered a break from isolation, in the safety of a stranger. This series examines the dichotomy between our who we are and who we appear to be, of how little we know of those around us and what they carry.