Tanya Radoff is a lifestyle photographer in Houston, Texas. Born in South Africa, she immigrated to the US when she was 18 years old. Her recent project was collecting profiles and photographs of professionals and their body art, with special interest in the personal significance of their tattoos.
One of Tanya’s profiles is of Danielle, a 34-year-old runner, whose life challenge was severe scoliosis. Danielle underwent a full spinal fusion in 1999 – two titanium rods with screws and hooks that were fused to her spine from head to tail to help strengthen out her acute curves in her spine. For years, Danielle had a fear of falling and was terrified of bicycles. Following six years of a difficult and long surgery, rehab, and recovery, Danielle recently completed an Ironman Triathlon. She credits her mother and her great-grandmother, both artists, as being inspirations to her. Her great-grandmother was an avid painter and lover of birds and fish and painted them frequently. The Phoenix and peacock were her favorites.
Here is Danielle’s story in her own words:
“My body art was inspired completely by my great-grandmother. Years and years of addiction, physical pain, and insecurities within my own body led me to want to ultimately embellish my skin with something beautiful and something that represented not only my great-grandmother, but also freedom, life, art, and rising up from the ashes. After recovery and healing, I discovered many truths. Pain is temporary. It’s that simple. Suffering is a part of life, so when the question is asked, “Did it hurt?” the answer is complicated yet simple. Life can hurt; it’s the end result that matters. And my end result is worth so much more than a few hours, weeks, months of pain of the flesh. Pains of the flesh can heal; pain in the heart can last a lifetime, just as joy. My art brings me joy and will continue to do so as long as there is breath in my body. It represents me and reminds me that anything is possible. You can rise above your reality and create a new one. No matter how far down you are, you can rise – like the Phoenix.”
Tanya will be exhibiting her work entitled “Blue Ink” on Saturday, July 13, 7pm-10 pm at the Hardy and Nance Studios, 902 Hardy Street, Houston, Texas. Her website: www.tanyaradoffphotography.com