Facing Mortality

Please welcome first-time contributor Alyson Vega, a fiber artist from New York City who taught herself to sew and quilt at a young age. Alyson suffered from depression her entire life, but found that teaching helped keep her illness under control. She received a B.A. in Japanese Folklore and Mythology from Harvard University, and then taught for 22 years until a left-hemisphere brain tumor suddenly ended her career. Alyson experienced a devastating nervous breakdown, and the subsequent brain damage further exacerbated her depression. At the same time she experienced a burst of creativity. As a self-taught artist she creates instinctively, incorporating into her work themes of decay and loss, transience, childhood, and dreams. Alyson employs various techniques in her pieces and utilizes all types of fiber along with her own photographs and paintings to express the beauty and order she perceives in a chaotic world.

About this photo: “This photograph is from my pier series taken at Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos. In 2007, I had brain surgery after a benign tumor bled into my brain. Before the surgery I was able to go on a trip we had planned months in advance. It was there that I discovered this pier. The trip was significant because I came to terms with my own mortality. We’ve gone back to the same location every year and I continue to photograph the pier, both very close up and from a distance. Hurricanes, time, the ocean all damage the pier but this only enhances its beauty.” 


**Visit Broken Light’s main gallery here. Currently accepting submissions.

*Facebook & Twitter @BrokenLighCo & @DanielleHark. Follow for e-mail notifications.

9 thoughts on “Facing Mortality

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  1. I love this photo and the story behind it. Thank you for sharing. I too have faced my own mortality and there are places that remind me that no matter how many scars it has, it only enhances the beauty of it.


  2. This is an utterly beautiful image; together with a moving story. Alison, may you keep being able to photograph the pier for many years to come.


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