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The Volcanologist 

The Volcanologist
The Volcanologist
Original photo by Gabi Ferrerya
Original Textbook Image

My first ever DIGITAL collage, created in collaboration with photographer Gabi Ferreyra.

Buenos Aires, May 2019 

In August of 2018, I left my home and my country in a daring pursuit.


Earlier that year I fell in love with a Venezuelan tango dancer while traveling in Buenos Aires. Three months later, he asked me to be his wife.


I decided to change my life for love. For a brand-new love, because it felt right. 


Preparing to move semi-permanently to Argentina required, among a million other sacrifices, parting with my veritable library of collage material, literally hundreds of pounds of books.


I left them all behind, except for one single page, carefully cut from a 1970s earth sciences textbook:


This page featured a photo that I'd kept on my desk during my last weeks in St. Louis: A human figure walking out of a volcano. As the earth explodes and erupts into flame and ash in the background, the figure appears relaxed, confidently striding towards wherever she's going. 

As I packed up what little of my life I could carry with me in my humble luggage, I looked at the volcanologist and I just felt it: That's me!  

It grew dear to me, this image, this ultra-inspiring image, and so I took it with me. But once I arrived, I didn't feel the same urge to keep it on display. I didn't need that mirror, because I didn't see myself in it anymore. I mostly just forgot about it. 

Not until May of 2019, when I was invited to model for photographer Gabi Ferrerya, did I remember the volcanologist tucked inside of Chopin's Nocturnes. 


During the photoshoot, Gabi gave me a peek on her digital camera of some of what she'd captured. In the very instant I saw this image, the outline of my fiery hair around my shadowed face, there I saw the volcanologist re-appear. 

Initially, the plan was to print the photo and create an analog cut-and-paste collage. But, "Well, maybe I can just edit the colors a bit, to match them better." Then, "Well, maybe we can just pull up a photo of the image, just to see how they look side-by-side on the screen..." 


Next thing I know I'm full-on photoshopping! For the first time ever! 

It is with pride and joy I share this resultant image with you here. 

Thanks guys. <3 Cassandra 

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