MJ Sharp: “Portals Between Realities”

We invited artists from Duke’s MFA EDA community to share work they have made in response to the coronavirus crisis. See the full “Home & Away” collection here.

MJ Sharp: “Portals Between Realities”

Artist’s Reflection

Windows and windowsills are constructed boundaries that, left undisturbed, accumulate the remnants of bygone drama.

Cobwebs of the resident spiders carve up the space and suspend spent nature, whether a dry leaf or the husk of a long-ago captured insect.

I began this window series over a year ago, but in confinement I’ve resumed photographing in earnest. Close looking at these tiny three-inch-deep portals between realities has taken on a new poignancy in this time of our constantly assessing the safety of our own personal boundaries and the substituting of rectangular “pictures” of reality for actual people and places.


Photographer MJ Sharp is an artist and educator based at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. She is currently a Lecturing Fellow at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. She served on the Faculty Advisory Committee of the Nasher Museum of Art and is Vice President of the Duke Faculty Union.