Elizabeth and I have been friends for ten years. She has a warm heart, a feisty spirit, and has put up with my wild ideas since I picked up a camera in ninth grade. She was born with Cystic Fibrosis, which is known to fill your lungs with thick mucus, damage your lungs and other organs, cause respiratory infections and block the digestive system. Everyday life with CF can be difficult to manage, and some patients, like Elizabeth, required feeding through a tube from adolescence to college, in order to absorb nutrients and fight infection.
In this series, I wanted to focus on the feeling you get after taking a long, deep breath. Something we take for granted. The images in the fog show calmness, a moment that a cool breath of air could be inhaled. I placed the fern leaves on her chest to represent her lungs. The butterflies on her esophagus represent the vessel that pushes oxygen back and forth. In these images, I think there is a silence, and a calmness that carries through. This is something that I imagine is often sought after when having CF.
Elizabeth continues to inspire me with her refreshing perspective and tender heart, fighting a battle that most know nothing about.
Hand-drawn tattoos by Victoria Foster