JESS T. DUGAN
'My creative practice centers around an exploration of identity — particularly gender and sexuality — through photographic portraiture. Drawing from my experience as a queer, non-binary person, my work is motivated by an existential need to understand and express myself and to connect with others. My intention is to create work that facilitates intimacy and encourages empathy, understanding, and critical conversations about identity and contemporary social life. As I pursue these aims, I continually explore what it means to live authentically and how visual representation — particularly photographic portraiture — plays a powerful role in that process.'
I ask you to hold me. I want to see what that looks like. I need to see myself wrapped up in you, to see how your hands fall upon my back, to feel the tenderness of your touch. I want to see my fingers against your skin, gripping, pulling you close.
My grasp is urgent.I want to claim you.
I want to be claimed.
The irises bloomed all at once, vibrant pink flowers emerging from a sea of green, seemingly overnight. I wait all year for this moment, fleeting as it is.
After a rainstorm, the air heavy and wet, I came home to find them laying on their side, the stalks too tall, the blooms too heavy. I wondered if, perhaps, I had made a mistake trimming them the year before, if I hadn’t cut them back far enough.
I tell you this.
You say: sometimes the rain just has its way.