Gentle. Bold. These two separate concepts have been in my mind over the last several months as I’ve been studying and experimenting with photography. I have those two words scribbled in my work journal somewhere with a giant question mark next to them because I didn't know how to resolve these two seemingly discordant views (yet wanting to live and produce both). They seem paradoxical in a way, unable to truly coexist in equal parts in one person or one image.
If you imagine someone you’ve just met, maybe someone who’s the life of the party, you might describe them as bold or extroverted (or talkative), but probably not immediately as gentle. Gentle would likely be reserved as the adjective for the quieter soul in the corner, who’s slower to speak but gentle in spirit. Obviously, labels are limiting and never exact, but I've been imagining what something would feel and look and exist if these two words were its only describers.
I’ve been searching for the answer on what that would be, because when I think of the way I want to exist and the work I want to create, I keep returning to these two words. I’ve been examining and experimenting and imagining all of the ways that these two incongruent ideas can exist together, each in their own right. I’ve been pulling apart and putting back together all of the ideas I have about myself and my work and wondering how to truly embody the essence that is gentle, yet bold?
So, what if these two concepts aren’t actually paradoxical? Could they not only exist together, but actually depend on each other? Maybe they always exist together, balancing the opposing spirit. Maybe that’s what my work will eventually embody. Maybe it was there all along.