Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Photography and Film

First Advisor

Justin James Reed

Second Advisor

Sonali Gulati

Third Advisor

Aaron McIntosh


The Wild Beasts springs from my desire to thank my ever-expanding queer chosen family and mentors for their strength. Working through the often violent and othering aspects of the lens and photographic histories I create floral portraits responding to each person’s being and our relationship. Using the 19th century, 8x10 large format view camera—the same used by colonialists and ethnographers to “capture” the divinity of Nature—I erect each as a traditional still life studio setup at the threshold between the natural world and that constructed by humans. These environments speak both to the character of each friend and also to the use of Nature against queer people in most legal systems across the planet. We are deemed unnatural and made criminals through inequitable semantics. The 8x10 negative becomes a portrait, a darkroom contact print that is gifted to each of The Wild Beasts, an intimate artifact of my gratitude. At these borders I lash at the histories of oppression, remaking these lineages and tools into spaces for empathy, tenderness, and love.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission