Tyler Andrew- Nelson
Being Black, there’s a heavy lack of prioritization regarding mental and emotional wellbeing, up until recently. As a result of systemic aggression, exploitation and oppression via enslavement (physical, sexual, emotional, spiritual, etc.) we, for an extensive period of time, viewed one's well being from a place of monetary security. From a place of job security, and a place of educational security. While all of these factors have been proven of their importance, it is because of this ongoing group trauma that the scope of tangible stability rarely if ever broadens the net to focus on one's emotional stability.
And in a time as tumultuous as COVID, this proved to be no different.
Many of us have lost work, lost money. And additionally, many of us lost lives. Whether it be their own or the lives of those closest to them, the spread of this disease was becoming very successful at eradicating any form of stability and replacing it with trauma. Many people were forced to suffer from this sickness in silence or in solitude, or in many cases both.
In my efforts of combating mild depression, I’d created the photo series entitled, “Masked” in which I’d taken on multiple physical changes or identities to play on an ever changing and ever restless emotional state. COVID-19 was, at the time at its height, and I’d lost a family member to it. My mother had tested positive for it as well and additionally, my own financial stability was becoming scarce due to lack of work, and delay of unemployment. So creating this series, provided me with the ability to check in with myself and really look inward, while on an occasion documenting loved ones around me.
Artist Name: Tyler-Andrew Nelson