Hailey Heaton

Hailey Heaton is a twenty-year-old photographer based in Brooklyn, New York, originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is currently working towards a BFA in Photography and Video from the School of Visual Arts, expected to graduate in 2019. In her current body of work, ‘Phantom Limb’, Heaton uses a combination of still life and documentary, weaving together a non-linear narrative about her childhood trauma. She is interested in themes of memory, time, power dynamics between the sexes, and the relationship of body and self.

Phantom Limb

7AM on a beach resort I am the queen of the castle. I walk with pride down the promenade from my family’s private cottage to the hotel’s public pool, where I will gracefully take a swim, all by myself, like a big girl. I don’t need my parents. The sky was light blue like my crayons, I remember that. I remember the palm trees and that there was a small breeze, but the morning was still, like the pool, when I approached it.

And then you were there. Tall, skinny man, with a dark tan, and a red bathing suit. Although, I’m still not sure of the color of your bathing suit, when I think of you I think of the color red. You were the only person at the pool. You kind of looked like a movie star. You were sitting at the edge of the pool with your legs dangling into the shallow end. It all felt off, or maybe that’s just how I feel now. I can’t remember any specific things you said to me, your voice sounds like fire alarms going off in my brain, ringing, screeching, stinging, and then it’s molasses. And then you were in the pool with me. I remember the freezing water, it hadn’t warmed yet from the heat of the sun. And then the scene cuts. It all goes black. And the next thing I remember was being back in the cottage, my family fast asleep. My dad had woken up from the sound of me sneaking back in and screamed at me for disappearing. That’s all I remember. I was 8 years old. I repressed that memory for 12 years and I still don’t know what to make of it, if anything. I want to believe that it’s nothing. But it doesn't explain this itching that I feel. This nausea.

To view more of Hailey Heaton’s work please visit their website.