In this series, I transform my appearance using body paint and photograph myself as different creatures inspired by the natural world. Blue-ringed octopuses and black-eyed Susans, as well as snow storms, rock formations, and ocean waves, can all be found in my work. I believe that connecting to nature is fundamental to the human experience.

My creatures occupy a liminal space, both tangible and surreal. The photographs that I make are grounded in the physical world and the solidity of my body. They show how I painted and posed myself at a particular moment. But through fantasy and optical illusion, these images suggest transcendence. 

I long to be released from the judgements and misperceptions projected onto women’s bodies, and from internalized pressure to pose my face into acceptable expressions. By working as model, painter, and photographer, I take artistic control of how my body and self are presented. The creatures that I become are hybrids, both human and non-human. They are beyond gender, and when I inhabit them, I am free. 

All images are printed at 16"x 21" (for vertical images) and 21"x16" (for horizontal images) unless otherwise noted.

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Shelby Meyerhoff Creative, LLC, is based in Winchester, Massachusetts.



(c) Shelby Meyerhoff, 2019.