There is an island in the south Caribbean that not many have heard of, often overshadowed by neighbouring Aruba. Through decisions and chance in my 20s, the Dutch island of Curaçao became my home for two years from 2006 to 2008. Ten years after leaving, I had fulfilled a promise to myself to return for a visit in August 2018, and it was then that I resolved to attempt to photographically capture the beauty of this island that I love so well. And this endeavor became more important months later with the untimely passing of the head coach at the fencing club I had frequented. And thus, I dedicate this on-going project to him, Mr. Lionel Smith.
I had returned once again for an expedition to photograph Carnival in February 2020, just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic spiralled out of control. While sitting on the airplane to return stateside, I made the same promise to myself as I had done before: I shall return.
My ultimate goal with this project is to publish a printed book as a "love letter" to the island of Curaçao. Not a tourism book--nothing as cheap and crass--but a photographic essay treatment to convey why this island has become a place for me to go to heal from affliction, but at the cost of leaving a little bit of my heart behind each time.