Above Image : Alicia Collins. Momma and Diesel, from the series Momma, 2014
Tell us about your work we chose to feature within the Temptation issue.
The work I had featured in the Temptation issue is from a series that focuses on my relation with my mother. My goal was to capture her true nature while simultaneously celebrating her free spirit. As a child I experienced a complex and eccentric upbringing infused with family neurosis. I want to examine the emotional effects of the connection I share with my mother—the intimacies and anxieties—while fixating on overt sexuality and the powerful presence of the mother. The concept derives from psychoanalytical connections that long for a therapeutic analysis. My childhood is a reality that was beautiful yet terrifying—the act of photographing my mother allows me to exist within the memories of our past. While doing so, I begin to truly forgive and understand her as well as myself.
Where do you see your work going? What is next in the development of your project?
I have shifted the focus from my mother’s physicality to more of the ideals of our family and the home. My work still functions as a coping mechanism that allows me look at my past, my history, and digest it to reach acceptance. I have now introduced my siblings and father, who happen to be legal cannabis farmers, to the picture and began to concentrate more on their unique lifestyle. More recently I have begun to allow my photography and sculpture to form a marriage where the two visual languages enhance the sense of experience. The photographs begin to take on a more kinetic state of being, allowing the viewer to touch, smell, hold, and transform the images—taking the photographs out of my hands and into the hands of the viewer.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by the mind, memory, developmental and social psychology, trauma, loss and how theses elements connect to the ideals of family and home. I am influenced and amazed by artists such as Mike Kelly, Tierney Gearon, Chris Verene and Louise Bourgeois for their inventive examinations of the home and the family. My mother, Alana Orvelo, is perhaps my biggest inspiration. She allows me to see the world through a very sensitive set of eccentric eyes to see my existence in a more beautifully bizarre fashion. Our relationship continues to amaze me on a daily basis.
Our theme was ‘Temptation,’ how do you relate to this within your work and how would you define temptation?
Temptation to me means an alluring sense of curiosity, a strong pull, which leads up to an act of gratification. Temptation does not have to be directly seductive but does have a level of imposed guilt that is associated after one gives into temptation.
There is always a sense of temptation and seduction in the presence of the mother, even if our cultural likes to deny it. My mother was a large woman and recently received gastric bypass surgery allowing her to loose nearly 200 lbs. The form of her body and it’s physicality were very alluring to me. Her body contained a strong sense of beauty. The imagery is raw and shocking at times and a feeling of guilt does come along with viewing a mother in such fashion.
Alicia Collins. Momma and Alicia 17, from the series Momma, 2014