Jenna Carlie debuts new series – “Serenity During a Time of Upheaval”
Jenna Carlie is a fine art photographer and writer. She obtained her bachelor’s in fine art and photography from Rhode Island School of Design. In addition to training at Speos Institute of Photography in Paris, France. Jenna has further expanded her expertise in the creative industry by working for leading professionals such as Annie Leibovitz, Lauren Greenfield, and Alexa Meade. She has lived and worked in Paris, Rhode Island, New York, Los Angeles, and Saint Louis.
Jenna’s art explores oppression concerning women, with particular emphasis on both trauma and healing from trauma. She examines these two topics that are opposite of each other and yet very intertwined. Her work talks about being broken down by trauma and healing from it. Offering a glimpse into her personal experience as to what it feels like to be destroyed, the aftermath, and the journey to recovery. It expresses both oppression, suffering, and distress, in addition to, hope, strength, and power. For her, creating the art is both dark and light; difficult and inspiring; painful and relieving; traumatic and empowering. Using a creative process to understand and work through these topics, helps her heal and regain her power. Additionally, it acts as a platform to start a conversation about these issues, raise awareness, and fight for change.
Sound Vibrations is an art series inspired by Jenna’s quest for inner peace and acceptance in the unknown and during the unrest of the pandemic. In this series, she captured sound vibrations and how they changed based on her energy.
“I had already created many coping mechanisms to heal from past trauma. A lot of those skills involved being around other people or being outside of my home. All of that became inaccessible once Covid hit and strict stay at home orders were enforced in LA.
Just before the pandemic, my partner and I, of six years, broke up. I had already packed up all my stuff, planning to move, but we ended up having to quarantine together. I isolated myself into one room, which was now void of everything that brings warmth and comfort to a home. It was just my four walls, my thoughts, and a 5-foot Gong. I would often go into my room and break down in tears, feeling alone and depressed. Yet, out of the corner of my room, the Gong would draw me in, calm me down, and everything around me faded. It showed me how to be present, mindful, and vocalize what I needed. We interacted as one instead of disconnected entities. I couldn’t connect to humans, so I connected to sound. There was a point where I realized the energy I had behind my words, changed the vibrations of sound. That is when I became fully engrossed in the making of this series.
While interacting with the Gong, I was thinking about something I was processing or wanted to cultivate in my life – like forgiveness or serenity, and so on. I would then repeat one of those words over and over in my head as I was tapping the Gong around the edges to warm it up. Doing this creates a sound that is more profound and long lasting. After a while, it begins making a humming noise, and I would hum my word with it. Once we were fully succinct in our rhythm, I would say the word out loud while coming into contact with the center of the Gong. This is the moment I would capture on camera. Whatever I vocalized was reverberated back to me in new healing ways that I wasn’t used to – like a sounding board. It echoed my sensations and showed me that what I have to say, has the power to change energy. I decided that I should use my artistic voice to talk about issues I struggle with, such as PTSD and mental health, making them more visible, instead of silencing myself and making them invisible.”
This series marks the starting point for all of Jenna’s current bodies of work, which revolve around topics of oppression, the treatment of women, mental health, trauma, and healing. Trauma Rock is a series about Jenna’s experience with what it feels like to survive trauma, live with it, struggle with it, and feel prisoner to it.
“The idea for this series was born on a lovely sunny morning when I was alone walking my dog. I was trying to get lost in the sounds and sights of all the beautiful nature around me, but I just kept being pulled back into an unpleasant reality. Every moment I tried to enjoy myself, I was cut down by fear. If I let go fully, let myself be truly free, absorbed in nature, without a care in the world, then that meant I was no longer hyper-alert to my surroundings. And that would put me in a vulnerable position, that would make me an easy target, that would make me powerless, that would mean something could happen to me that I would have to carry with me for the rest of my life. That would increase my chances of being assaulted because I wasn’t actively preparing for it. And there isn’t space in this world for a woman to take a chance like that.
Jenna uses her creative mind and artistic ability to heal, raise awareness about trauma, and inspire change.