Cycle of the Self 2018

I take self-portraits to explore my internal emotional landscape. My self-portraits examine the deeply personal, and oftentimes hidden, emotional cycles I feel and go through. Each photograph reveals a raw emotional baseline, and as a set represent a range of emotions that are my lived experience.

My photographs lay bare a deep-seated and life long struggle with fear of acceptance. It’s my way of connecting with the world and proving to myself that I do not need to hide my body, to be afraid of how I feel, or to be ashamed of how I look.

For me, self portraiture has been a gateway to self discovery of those fundamental human traits that I have kept locked away for so long: self-love, self-acceptance, and the self-confidence that comes with sharing intimate images of myself that reveal my most vulnerable sides. But it isn’t only about me. My hope is that by confronting my fears and vulnerabilities I will emerge stronger and in a better place to give more of myself to the world, and especially, to those who love me most.

When I think about my self-portraits the word cycle frequently comes to mind. As a human, as a woman, and as an artist my mind constantly cycles through contradictory and sometimes frightening feelings. Each of my self-portraits can be thought of as a solitary attempt to capture, as inspiration struck, an example of a cycle.

-Natalie A Wheeler


View my most recent self-portrait work here.