Creation Date



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inkjet print and medium-density fiberboard


Dimensions: detail composed of 2 panels, 20" x 84" x 6" each

Artist Statement

My work addresses identity disorientation and utilizes the visual puzzle as a forum for investigating the tension between internal freedom and structure. In the face of great change in my life, I was forced to seek and question barriers I had built within myself. I’m on the cusp of graduating college, quitting my steady job, and leaving my home state for good. My structured constants are transforming into frightening uncertainties. My identity, tightly wrapped in worldly ties, began to unravel. Who am I beyond my obligations? This fear of change manifested into an internal power struggle between my desperate need to be in control, and my equally potent eagerness to let go. To move past this dilemma, I had to discard the notion that I was any label and accept my true self as coming from a place beyond the material.

The square provides structure, safety, and comfort in form; it eases my feelings of loss of control, and helps me organize my inner world. I’m inspired by the reliability and familiarity of the crossword puzzle. In it there is but one answer, but every open box is an opportunity for discovery. Holes become whole, as pieces start to come together and completed squares inform those yet to be answered. Frequently the solution comes as a result of shift in perspective. In this fashion, the installation embodies this shift as images come together or pull apart as it is viewed from different angles.


© Nenah Shae Young, 2014. Photo credit: Nenah Shae Young.


photography, sculpture, digital, surreal, photo manipulation, mixed media