Belonging is a core emotional need; unknowingly it delicately changes who we are. Subtly
shifting us from, who we want to be, to who we think we have to be, hiding who we really
We do this to be accepted and also to protect ourselves. Not wanting to be excluded, we
repress who we want to be. Being vulnerable opens us up to be rejected as we show our
differences, our uniqueness. Which propels us into a disagreement with ourselves. A
contradiction that allows our emotions not only to persist, but to amplify until they become
the loudest thing we emote, but cannot hear. It isolates us from our core and quiets our
spirit. This deafening causes others to speak softly – so softly that we no longer belong.
This series shows the disagreements between our emotions, and the paradox as it
appropriates the figure.
Rahshia Sawyer is a conceptual photographer based in the Washington DC area. She was the 2012 recipient of the Contemporary Talents award from France’s François Schneider Foundation. Exhibited in the 2012 Inaugural Dublin Biennial, her photographs and installations have been included in numerous group shows in Canada, England, France, Ireland, Spain, and United States. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Foundation François Schneider, and Radford University Museum. She received her MFA from George Mason University in Virginia, and her BFA at the Corcoran College of Art & Design in Washington DC. Her current projects examine relationships between beauty and humanity and its balanced (or imbalanced) interaction between reality and fantasy.
Finalist, 8th edition of the Julia Margaret Cameron Award
Honorable Mention, Jax Exhibition
Honorable Mention, Fine Art Photography Awards (FAPA)
Semi Finalist, The Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards
2nd Place, EMULSION 2015
Honorable Mention, International Photography Awards (IPA)
Academic and Artistic Excellence, George Mason University
Grand Prix Juror Award of Merit, Int. Fine Art Photography Competition
Contemporary Talent 2012, Photography Grant, François Schneider Fdn.
Gold Medal Award San Francisco International Photography Exhibition
2nd Place, Fine Art Photography Competition 2013
Juror’s Choice Award, Open Water!
Leadership Award, ODIME 2013 Vision Awards
EMERGE Fellowship Award, 2013 Midwest Photo Emerge
First Place, 1st Annual Radford Photography Exhibition