Mica England is an artist from the San Francisco Bay Area. Growing up in such a diverse and inclusive environment played a fundamental role in shaping her photography, politics, and personality. She is very much a product of her environment, embracing her non-binary, queer, and mixed race identities. Mica uses both “she/her” and “they/them” pronouns.
Mica considers herself a writer first, photographer second. As a child, the written word flowed naturally for her, while she stumbled and stuttered to verbalize those same complex thoughts. Even now, the development of a concept precedes its imagery. Each project is a confluence of the seen and the unseen; the visual and the written; the external and the internal. The outward constructed photographic scene juxtaposes her prose, grounded in internal reflection. This results in multiple, yet equally valid, versions of her photography, as well as her own reality.
Each body of work is an inherent and unconventional self-portrait, exploring nostalgia and identity thru deep, painfully critical introspection. Mica candidly probes her current mental health as well as her childhood, weighted with parental abuse and comorbid mental disorders. Art is her primary outlet to compartmentalize her disordered thoughts, yet Mica struggles to cathartically create in a society quick to accuse artists of romanticizing their own mental illnesses, while at the same time expecting those artists to suffer for their art. Art is not bound to suffering; artists should not expect or endure suffering just for their art. Instead, she achingly extracts her present and past toxic thoughts for others to join her on the path to healing and future recovery.
Mica graduated from Academy of Art University in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography. She was ranked in the top 5 among photography undergraduates and acted as BFA Photography Student Representative her last 3 semesters. Her work has been featured in several juried shows, including Academy of Art’s Spring Show in both Fine Art Book Arts and Photography. She is now focused on documenting her mother’s experiences with stage 4 breast cancer thru my mother is dying, an ongoing series that was selected for AAU’s coveted portfolio review. As well as The Recovery Archive, chronicling mental health, stigma, and recovery on Instagram. Since graduating from AAU Mica has gone on to become stARTup Art Fair’s Content Curator and General Admin. She is a founding member of temporary collective with Maddie Dignadice and Maddie Shelton.