legacy

Coming Home

A photographic journey of a woman struggling with the idea of her body and her personal accounts of suffering, resistance, surrender, and change. It was truly magical to put this project together with Actress Jessie Arora.

Poetry: Jessie Arora/Atma Things
Photography: Agnes Kiesz/Pure Studios
Hair & Make-up Artist: Sara/Elegant Make-up
"On the precipice of ecstasy    My daemons will face me    On the edge of madness    My angels will call to me    This battle will consume you inside out    This battle will control you outside in"

"On the precipice of ecstasy

My daemons will face me

On the edge of madness

My angels will call to me

This battle will consume you inside out

This battle will control you outside in"

" It might look like I'm crying but I'm not.    It might look like I'm sad, but I'm not.    It might look like I'm protecting myself, but I'm not.    I am watering my garden of lies.    I am smiling in disguise.    I am holding on for dear life"

" It might look like I'm crying but I'm not.

It might look like I'm sad, but I'm not.

It might look like I'm protecting myself, but I'm not.

I am watering my garden of lies.

I am smiling in disguise.

I am holding on for dear life"

" Untie these knots of shame and guilt. Untie these bands of disrespect.  Your hold on me is done and gone.  Your work on me has power none.  You've reigned in my head, you've ruled in my heart, you've stifled my light, and you've suffocated my life.    Silence    Stillness    I will unravel, I will be gentle, I will be kind, I will be tender, I will be soft,     I will be.  I will be.  I will be.    This is my promise to me"

" Untie these knots of shame and guilt. Untie these bands of disrespect.  Your hold on me is done and gone.  Your work on me has power none.  You've reigned in my head, you've ruled in my heart, you've stifled my light, and you've suffocated my life.

Silence

Stillness

I will unravel, I will be gentle, I will be kind, I will be tender, I will be soft,

I will be.  I will be.  I will be.

This is my promise to me"

" In the darkness of my shadows     lies my ruin and revival.      Part by choice and part by chance but equally with purpose.    In the darkness of my shadows    lies my ruin and revival.    Part by blindness and part by sight but equally with purpose.    In the darkness of my shadows    lies my ruin and revival.    Part by you and part by me but equally with purpose.      In the lightness of my love    lies my ruin and revival.    Part by shadows and part by angels but equally with purpose"

" In the darkness of my shadows

lies my ruin and revival. 

Part by choice and part by chance but equally with purpose.

In the darkness of my shadows

lies my ruin and revival.

Part by blindness and part by sight but equally with purpose.

In the darkness of my shadows

lies my ruin and revival.

Part by you and part by me but equally with purpose. 

In the lightness of my love

lies my ruin and revival.

Part by shadows and part by angels but equally with purpose"

" [...] I need to be washed, I need to be bathed. Of this idea of love and my love depraved.      You cannot be my saviour, you cannot be my guide.  I only ask of you to witness this tide.  For as it began, it will be unearthed, and in it's place I will water new earth.  You will see me anew, you will see me to be taboo.  And that will be fine with me, because one day somebody will be washing you"

" [...] I need to be washed, I need to be bathed. Of this idea of love and my love depraved. 

You cannot be my saviour, you cannot be my guide.  I only ask of you to witness this tide.  For as it began, it will be unearthed, and in it's place I will water new earth.  You will see me anew, you will see me to be taboo.  And that will be fine with me, because one day somebody will be washing you"

"If every day I said a prayer, it would be thank you.      For your works I have seen and your words I have heard.    If every day I said a prayer, it would be thank you"

"If every day I said a prayer, it would be thank you. 

For your works I have seen and your words I have heard.

If every day I said a prayer, it would be thank you"

" Grandmother, Mother, Sister, Daughter,    I recognize your pain and feel it.  I'm sorry you had to experience it.  I recognise the injustice and I'm sorry.  My words do not make it any better.  I see what was done to you, I remember it.  I know what they said about you, I heard it.  I feel what they did to you, they did it to me too.  It will not end, it will not stop, until we learn to speak up.  Stand with me woman and help me speak up"

" Grandmother, Mother, Sister, Daughter,

I recognize your pain and feel it.  I'm sorry you had to experience it.  I recognise the injustice and I'm sorry.  My words do not make it any better.  I see what was done to you, I remember it.  I know what they said about you, I heard it.  I feel what they did to you, they did it to me too.  It will not end, it will not stop, until we learn to speak up.  Stand with me woman and help me speak up"

Do you VALUE yourself?

Last month I had an experience that really made me want to write about self-value. I had a beautiful woman cry from happiness during her Portrait Reveal. Since she started having kids, she avoided the camera and did not feel beautiful because of what her ex-husband had told her. Seeing this great woman in front of me, seeing her tears and hearing about her experience I could not be more surprised...

 

Where do you get your sense of self-value and confidence from? Is it from other people or from within yourself, from knowing you are a good person and that you are worthy? If you get it from others, it is a matter of Luck, it is a matter of what people you will meet on your journey. Do you appreciate your body simply because it is healthy and strong? Do you feel bad about yourself because skinny models are on the pages of magazines and then seven years later you do not feel curvy enough, because now the trends have changed?

When I first became a professional photographer, it astounded me how many people were scared of the camera. Many people take photos when they HAVE to, way less people take photos to create a legacy for themselves and for their family. People would call me and say mostly: “I HAVE to take new headshots” or “I NEED photos to put in my new project”. 

Exist in photographs, do not hide behind the camera.

Why?

You are good enough Now. Not when you loose weight, not when you have fancy wardrobe, not when you get your dream pair of shoes. Now.

When photographers take a photo of someone, although we are taking the photo of their outside-self, it is the energy of the person and their inner beauty that we see – that is our guide when we take the photographs of people. And every human being deserves to be seen!

While on the subject of self-value, I just HAVE TO mention The He/She Project which we had the pleasure of working on with Daniel Pillai - it was such an honour to be a part of Daniel's journey to self-acceptance. Here is a look behind shooting The He/She Project!

love always,

Agnes