Rahshia Sawyer 2020

Rahshia Sawyer is a creative professional based in the Washington DC area.


She teaches undergraduate and graduate students the nuances of photography at George Mason University.  The Head of Privacy and Data Ethics Design at Capital Onee, she focuses on the intersection of humanity and data privacy. As an internationally recognized photographer, she is active in the art world, presenting her work on resilience, where she examines the balanced (or imbalanced) relationship between beauty and chaos.

Rahshia Sawyer Sirens' Garden 2014, Detail View 001 Rahshia Sawyer Sirens' Garden 2014, Detail View 002 Rahshia Sawyer Sirens' Garden 2014, Detail View 003 Rahshia Sawyer Sirens' Garden 2014, Detail View 004 Rahshia Sawyer Sirens' Garden 2014, Detail View 005
About This Project


A collaboration with Rahshia Sawyer and Sarah Ann Winn


We sometimes remember waking up and going to bed, but often these moments become mere bookends to our fluid days. Perhaps because of this, Rahshia (caller) and Sarah (responder) found the words ’24 hours,’ and ‘rise’ most compelling. Through the sequences, Rahshia used the water line to create a horizon, giving a framework to analyze time through a micro lens. The first set of photos was a mix of close-­‐ups and motion-­‐blur taken during the initial underwater session.


The work represents our lives in 12-­‐hour increments, how the motions we go through may repeat but our memories ebb and flow throughout the day, often returning to our dreams. The photographs take the Siren’s perspective as she sings the memory of loss and reclamation.

Siren’s Garden
Late afternoon, the voices of lost crops burnt with heat, shriveled then swirled around me in dust devils, hot both coming and going, in a cloud-only stilled by some cool ancestral current passed down along parched bloodlines beside bleak shores where sharp shadows bristled on the banks, near rushes, near reeds, all brush overly familiar with feeling dust in the mouth.


Tonight, I tend a place where moonflower tendrils unfurl rippled petals, where night-blooming cereus and gardenia scatter scent. Can you think of vegetables when the moon is up? Can you, in the dark, see the same vines instead as fingers of summer squash reaching to the light as they do, as we do, to find latent fecundity?


In this green and blue womb, we will come to the rainy season, we will rush past sandy shores filled with sunfish nests and make our own flood. We will break free from the banks. We will find a new outline for our bodies, a lake bed, a plot for blooms.

Siren’s Garden, 2014 Digital photography on silk with text 17 x 190 inches
A poem by Sarah Winn runs along the bottom edge of a long, digital photograph on silk by Rahshia Sawyer.