My days of losing words
I have had chronic migraine for four and a half years. Without medication, the pain makes me lose the ability to speak; with medication, I suffer from side effects that cause me to forget words. In My days of losing words, I create color photographs that act as synthetic memories of my lost words and this overall time of being inarticulate and in pain. The one-word titles refer back to words that got lost in the netherworld between pain and sanity. The self-portraits remain (inarticulately) untitled.
I never stop shooting. I carry a list of words that I’ve lost over time, and when I see something that jogs my memory of a word, I shoot it and cross the word off. I was stuck between my house and medical spaces for months on end, so I started shooting words there. The early work consists of three types of images: domestic still life images, documentary images of medical spaces, and self-portraits at home and in medical spaces.
For a long time, I thought my headache was as good as it was going to get. Thanks to a medical breakthrough, I now finally have days without pain. The end of the series has meant the inclusion of new work that shows how my life has improved. Natural light, once rare in my photos, began to creep in and take over images. The tunnel vision of my earlier photographs gave way to space, light, and eventually, a vast expanse of a new horizon, both figurative and literal.
About Rachael –
When Rachael Jablo’s life was derailed by illness, she turned to self-portraiture and still life to create a picture of her experience of being sick, side effects and all. The subsequent series, “My days of Losing Words” will be published in book form in the fall of 2013. Jablo has had solo exhibitions at George Lawson Gallery and Joyce Gordon Gallery in the Bay Area, and has been exhibited across the country, including the Center for Fine Art Photography, and Brandeis University. She is also working on a series of landscape photographs of her travels through Spain and Portugal.
To see more of Rachael Jablo’s work, please log onto her website.