Indigo Regis Conat-Naar was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida. She will be graduating this spring from Tufts University with a B.A. in Philosophy, a B.F.A. in Studio Art, and a minor in Visual and Material Studies. She has been practicing Taekwondo since 2008, the same year that her childhood home was extensively remodeled and eventually sold, following the separation and divorce of her parents.
Indigo’s practice is interdisciplinary, ranging across installation, sculpture, sound, performance, drawing, and photography. Throughout these mediums, she maintains a clear voice of vulnerability and presence, opening up worlds of possibility outside of time. Within these worlds, her work becomes a language that theories can’t refute; a manifestation of the tender specifics of being.
Every other night, I find myself going through all of my photos. Without any particular aim, I scroll, click, and zoom in on whatever seems important. On familiar and unfamiliar oceans, on the face of a friend from that one time, on the uprooted tree in the countryside, and I remember only the parts that I want to keep with me. I think about how I used to delete photos when I did not want to remember someone or something, and how effective it was, to the point that I now only remember the sadness, but not the source.
I’ve spent so much of my time mourning my memories as distant, untouchable things. Through this body of work, I’ve come to recognize the ways memory occurs in the present-tense. To miss someone is to imagine them now as they were before. They exist as you exist, and they make themselves known when you see something of them in the world.
When I have nothing better to do, usually in the summer, I write about the things that I have no images of, the moments that come back to me on their own and ask for my attention. In the first such memories, I am 6, maybe 7, and my world begins to change in a tangible way for the first time. I remember my childhood backyard, but I can’t remember what it looked like. The best image I can find is a pixelated photo from 2009 on a realtor website. I write down the pieces of memory that do return to me—the banana tree that kept growing back when it was cut down, the rectangular pool that matched the sky, the sound of the Sony stereo—or maybe it was my father practicing guitar.
“Where we could’ve been” is a certain time and a certain place, located in the moments I’ve brought with me, that I’ve had to work to keep. This work began several winters ago, with a sign for a town in Western Massachusetts that told me I was “Entering Florida.” I laughed because we were both so far from home, and I took a photo. It ended with a reimagining of the backyard of my first home on Rafael Boulevard in the backyard of my house in Medford, Massachusetts on the first sunny day of spring.