Artist's Statement

Lizzy Cross

digital prints, each approximately 13 x 10 inches

I was emerging from a long period of withdrawal from society due to multiple chronic illnesses, freshly divorced and moved back across the country, when COVID19 required us all to isolate. But this time, incredibly, the illness was not mine. I was alive and thriving for the first time in nearly a decade. I had healed in miraculous ways, essentially and entirely reborn. Slowly climbing out from severe food allergies and sensitivities, a few simple things prepared at restaurants had just been successfully reintroduced. It was thrilling, it truly opened up my world. I could see friends easily, and enjoy nourishment for the first time possibly ever.

Lockdown wasn’t devastating, it was my default mode. I was completely alone and 3,000 miles from family, aside from my cat and dog but the euphoria of recovery made the entire world sparkle. The desolation of daily walks allowed me to stop and look at these spaces, so ordinary in my youth that I did not take them in, and then for so long entirely verboten from my experience. Alone on the street, I carefully slipped my phone through roll down grates, pressed the lens tightly to darkened and unwashed windows, setting long exposures to reveal the gems of Still Life hidden inside. Stacked chairs representing the people I longed to be with, interior details that in the rush of life would never be fully appreciated, evidence of lives upended in ways to which I could truly relate, my heart aching for them. Surreal little vignettes behind glass. Right there, so close, but still off limits. The self-made prison of isolation that is chronic illness still echoed in my exterior reality. But my presence there, newly gifted freedom from pain, reclaiming my ability to point the lens was proof that it could and would be overcome.