While these images seem to set the stage for fairytale-esque narrative, the shark has become a metaphor for a personal anxiety that is darkly rooted in the fear of death.
“When I was a child the Cincinnati zoo had a big shark tank full of big sharks. They would swim in a circle, and I would stand with my face to the class watching their blank, open-mouthed stares, as they would pass me by over and over. They were mesmerizing to me, but also terrifying. I had panic attacks in swimming pools all the time as a child. I wold race to get out of the pool before a shark could attack me. I started using shark imagery in my work in my early 20s, often as a mask on a child.”
“Years later, after I got married, I started having panic attacks about my husband and I dying. It was so sad to me that I met this person that I loved so much and was so fortunate to spend my life with, and we were going to have to watch each other die. I began to identify my panicky childhood feeling towards sharks as the same feeling I had about my husband’s and my mortality. Rational or irrational, it felt the same. Fear is a physical reaction. I began to draw myself as a little girl in a party dress wearing the head of a shark. I think the shark head as part defense, part offense, primal, quiet yet frenzied.” (Hi-Fructose vol. 23)