Unshed Tears

Naomi Lopez

Unshed Tears

When I was 16, I had a parasite in my eye that caused unbearable pain and made me partially blind. I was forced to bottle up all of my feelings because if I ever began to cry, my eye would burn and cause me even more pain. Photography was a way for me to escape my world and express my feelings without ever actually feeling them.

Unshed Tears is a visual representation of all the tears I was afraid to cry. I took this picture in my room 4 days after a biopsy revealed that the steroids I had been taking were only making the parasite stronger. I took all of the emotions I didn't even know that I had and poured them into this picture. Writing this artist statement, I've realized I'm not sure how to describe what this picture makes me feel, what I hope it makes you feel, but I promise I will try. When I look at this picture I see utter fear and despair; I feel disappointment and betrayal. In the middle of complete hopelessness, however, I see the deep longing for something better. And in that longing, there is a declaration that I will not be kept down by my circumstances. For all the bad things this picture represents, I can't help but feel happy when I see it. This is one of the few pictures that I can confidently say I've put all of myself in. Every single thought and feeling I had was put into this picture, and I know I'm better because of it.

As you can probably guess, Unshed Tears is a picture that is very close to my heart and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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