Not A Day Goes By (2017) The 2016 rise of a racist, xenophobic, sexist, bigoted, extreme-right political climate in the U.S. presidential political cycle profoundly depressed me. Climate change in both its literal and figurative sense was being denied as a hoax. Lies and fake news were accepted as "politics as usual." It seemed to me that America was smothering all the positive ideals historically it has stood for. Unbearable emotional pain motivated me to explore showing this issue visually as suicide. "Not A Day Goes By," is a body of work produced to illustrate suicide. The images in the series, "Manner Of," present common objects used to take one's life. The muted black and white palate and soft image quality of the print rendered on tissue paper is then further obscured by the encaustic medium. This treatment of the photograph underscores the veiled nature of the option of suicide. The portraits of people with their heads wrapped in plastic illustrate acts of asphyxiation. The cool tonality combined with the highly reflective, almost mirrored surface of the work adds a performative aspect to the piece: a glimpse of the viewer's image is reflected, offering a space to contemplate suicide. When I researched death by suicide, I learned the most common means is by asphyxiation. All that is needed is a readily available plastic bag. In the U.S., one in four suicides involves suffocation. In the Western world, suicide attempts are most common among young people and females. The pressures of living in a society that places monetary gain above all else is a primary cause of attempted suicide. It is frequently linked to poverty and hopelessness. When I was searching online for images of asphyxiation, I was entranced by an image of an elderly woman wearing a blue track suit who had a plastic bag over her head. I was immediately taken with this gesture. I started to experiment with different types of plastic and how the material translated into photographs. I began with an image of my husband with his head wrapped entirely in 2mm plastic. In a classic portrait studio with light available only on sunny days, the beautiful whites reflected by the plastic define the shape of the head. The cool, black and white toned images began to emerge with a haunting quality. I crowd-sourced my subjects via an online call, offering a standard portrait in exchange for allowing me to wrap their heads in plastic to the point where suffocation seemed possible. The photo sessions were necessarily brief, but each person who sat in the studio had a different visage: sometimes it was a look of peace; other times it exuded resignation. A moment of silence emerges from each of the images. Most people chose to keep their eyes closed. The amount of plastic required depended on the subject's head shape and size. I asked everyone to remove jewelry and wear a dark top so there would be no distraction from the silky daylight reflected from the plastic wrapping their heads. This work originated as a highly personal exploration of suicide. One of the cognitive symptoms is the belief that death is the only way to end unbearable emotional pain. Beyond a visceral reaction to the current U.S. political context, these portraits serve as a metaphor for the age of plastic. From mass consumption propelled by credit cards to the great gyre patches in the world's oceans, our planet is literally suffocating in plastic. These images seek to capture and illustrate the ultimate human moment of choice between being and nothingness.