University of South Florida home page

USF Main Links: A-Z Index | Campus Directory | Calendars | Search

USF Home > College of The Arts > Institute for Research in Art

Breaking Barriers logo


Me, Myself and Eye


Me, Myself and Eye Home   //  Leslie Elsasser - Introduction   //  Selina Roman - Mind Currents   //  Michael Ball   //  TC Bryant   //  Larry Busby   //  David Canaday   //  Michael Congdon   //  Brandie Dziegiel   //  Loretta Fields   //  Jeaniel Image   //  Douglas Eric Jordan   //  Valerie Larson   //  John Leduc   //  Jason Lind   //  Mikko Maki   //  Alex Martinez   //  Matias   //  Noemys McConnell   //  Megan O’Connell   //  Robert Ortega   //  Adaina Plaza   //  Pat Randall   //  Heather Rivera   //  RaeAnne Swanson   //  Michael Webb


Pat Randall, Weight On My Shoulders, 2020

Pat Randall, Weight On My Shoulders, 2020


Weight On My Shoulders 

Looking for props around the house led me upstairs to my Coca-Cola collection. I thought there must be objects that I could transform in an unusual or interesting way to create humor or silliness for the viewer. I did not expect the result. The first thing that came to mind after viewing the resulting photo was “wow, look at all that weight on my head, pulling down on my ears.” The serious look was actually from just holding my breath trying to balance everything, but it turned into a reflection of what actually brought me to the Breaking Barriers photography workshop. 

Taking pictures is something that I like to do for fun and life has not been much fun lately. Battling forces of pain, depression, anxiety, and anger presents huge challenges during ordinary times, but current world events, with all the obstacles of a pandemic, make it more difficult than usual to find outlets for relief. A fellow Veteran spoke of the workshop in one of the many programs, provided by our Tampa Veterans Administration staff, that I participate in as part of my overall mental and physical health treatment I began the workshop thinking “how am I ever going to find any interesting self-portraits,” and ended with the problem of having too many to choose from each week. I tried to take this opportunity to be mischievous and ambiguous about the shots and explore both my serious and silly sides. I had fun with the concealment and abstraction assignments, discovering that what I intended by a shot can be interpreted in many ways by other viewers. 

On this day I just happened to have on a red shirt when I headed upstairs on my adventure. When I viewed the photo, I thought experimenting with filters would be interesting with this shot. I found a filter that transformed the gray walls to more of a Coca-Cola green. As I searched, I randomly grabbed a tablecloth to set on my head with curtain tie-backs to hang from my ears. What started out as just a random silly act, turned into a reflection of my life’s struggles. The experience has sparked a curiosity to explore creative activities. 



Pat Randall, Concealment, 2020

Pat Randall, Concealment, 2020

Pat Randall, Eye See You, 2020

Pat Randall, Eye See You, 2020



For more information:
Email Leslie Elsasser at
or Ashley Jablonski at

Breaking Barriers 2020 is supported by the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, Love IV Lawrence, Hillsborough Arts Council, and the Florida Department of State.