I don’t think I’ve done a self portrait since high school, but last last year, I began experimenting with drawing my features in a sketchbook. Perched in front of a mirror in my Istanbul apartment, on many cold nights, I sat drawing my image. Mostly because I was obsessed with drawing, and had no internet, but also because I wanted to explore the idea of self identity. In my current body of work, I have completed several self portraits in various forms and mediums, reflecting on the my year in Istanbul.
Before I left for Turkey, I was sure of myself, and my identity. However, during my time abroad, I found, with astonishment, that my identity began to shift. This was a time in my life when I was thrown out of the comforts of home and into a foreign culture, where I experienced emotional and bureaucratic difficulties. I was no longer myself in the context of home, but someone who must acclimate to a society with peculiar ideals and practices. Below are a few examples of self portraits that I will be exhibiting. In future work, as I have more experience in travel and foreign cultures, I will continue explore the effect of place on identity and sense of self.