Throughout the entirety of this year, I have attempted to define growth. Tried to look at it from every feasible angle. Tried to find a way to bypass the necessary introspection in search for an easy solution. I tried to stop thinking about it as I gradually uncovered the essence of growth.
In the past year, I have grown more than ever before. I have transformed into a person I have yet to recognize. Some things I still can’t believe are real.
Growth is painful. It hurts. Introspection is almost an assurance to some sort of pit, some sort of spiral into an abyss. Attempting to understand myself is still a trying task. Growing is hard because it’s not linear, it is scattered and archaic. You can’t see the end result until you can look back, with tears streaming down your face, and say “I’m alright.”
For me, that is the most beautiful part of growth. Being able to admit to yourself you have changed, and that change is for the better. You don’t realize how much the pain is allowing you to flourish. How much that hurt is necessary.
To my first heartbreak. To my first relationship with a woman. To my queerness. To labels. To my seemingly endless disorientation with gender. To my home both far and near. To my lost love. To my heart, my soul.
I can’t help but look to these experiences and hold them lovingly in my mind. Shifting through the blinding consciousness that is my capsule—I begin to see the brief moments of euphoria, the laughter, the smiles, the warmth. The gloom still remains, but sits above the horizon in my mind.
In my art, I have encapsulated this specific growth I refer to. It has brought me to confront my sense of self and has forced me to reach within to extract these missing pieces of my soul. My art is a constant stream of consciousness, a process of my growth and self exploration—an uninterrupted odyssey to me.
Still muddled within my own exploration of queerness and gender, I hope that my art can relay not merely the struggle of such experiences, but the joy and liberation that comes with it.
Maddie Provost (she/they) is an interdisciplinary artist working in mainly photography and mixed media. She currently attends New York University where they study Photography and Imaging at Tisch School of the Arts. Maddie grew up in the suburbs of Colorado and has since been an award winning scholar and photographer in Colorado. In 2019, they won the Colorado Student Media Association Photographer of the Year. In 2020, Maddie won the AIGA Worldstudio Scholarship for her “Identity” photo series. In their freetime, Maddie enjoys listening to psychedelic rock, running, and playing guitar.