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a viewer's perspective
"I find that design and mental health, especially cognition, work seamlessly together, to challenge and inspire awareness, imagination, and perspective. Ambivalent Intimacy, the term itself, challenges you to conceptualize ' uncertain comfort/ closeness', which is very commonplace, but not, as often as warranted, acknowledged. Then, the way in which the thesis was presented (ie. abstractly) and engaged (ie. social media), further facilitated the experience of being ambivalently intimate. I was captivated by this thesis and at a time I(we) needed it most. Thank You for continuously sharing your gifts, Aliana."
— Dominique Sansbury, Holistic Psychotherapist
“I appreciate you so much for putting this site together. It's a unique way to see my experience as one of many, rather than just being out here on my own.”
"Aliana Grace Bailey's design choices convey warmth and closeness online, and they leave a singular impression. She has created a positive, calm, and unique aura for a virtual platform, allowing visitors to take a healing pause from other competing and often frenetic channels of information."
— Kristen Hileman, Independent Curator
"So it becomes very hard to talk about how much I admire people who can manage to, despite basically any mental and emotional experience or condition, still have the confidence and knowledge and discipline to take those experiences, use them, examine them, transmute them into shape and color and texture, shaping entire worlds and narratives in a way that’s honest and vivid and striking, engaging and dreamy..."
— John Hunter
"I appreciate Ambivalent Intimacy for being a space that reminds us we’re all enduring similar experiences and feelings. I live alone, and although I’m incredibly introverted, I value connectedness with the people I love. I enjoy meaningful conversations. Although being around others usually drains me, I don’t feel that way about my closest friends, so it’s been hard to just be alone, day in and day out..."
— Justine R
"This site is so inspiring. During a time where human beings around the world are facing a pandemic that begs for our understanding that we are all in this together. Such intimacy can be simply be understood through the phenomena of color. We are on a wheel of colors that complement each other. We can be creative and let us not ever forget this moment."
"Thank you for giving the community a voice through your animations, I feel like they express the statements behind them very well using time, color, mark-making, and composition."
"I greatly appreciate Aliana’s pursuit of intimacy during these unsettled times. I am reminded that we make intimacy—not the circumstances within which we live."
"...A couple weeks ago kind of marked the pinnacle of my grappling with feelings of loneliness and isolation. I’d cried a lot, questioned my friendships, let my apartment become exponentially messier than usual. I felt like I was crumbling emotionally. Then I happened to have a conversation with a close friend and mentioned Ambivalent Intimacy. I went to the website and two particular posts stood out to me: one about feeling lucky to have roommates during quarantine and another about living alone and going seven weeks without touching anyone. I realized I wasn’t the only person feeling how I’d been feeling, especially as someone who lives alone. I realized I missed intimacy..."
— Justine R
"It’s hard to not love and appreciate that people like Aliana exist, and it’s especially fantastic that you can get to know them personally, watch them grow and learn and go through shit, and accomplish amazing things. It makes me feel more at home in a place where it doesn’t feel like anyone understands how much effort being a creator is, revels in it, and uses it as an opportunity to become an absolute star. It’s amazing to watch her continue to flourish, again and again in new, exciting ways. It’s great to experience but especially hard to turn these feelings into words, in place of experiencing it firsthand. And if that wasn’t enough, they’re also just a funny, deeply caring, insightful individual who continues to impress me and shine a light on life."
— John Hunter
"...We’re all struggling in some way or another during this time of isolation. Where I first viewed quarantine as a chance to “get my whoooooole life together and accomplish all of my unchecked goals,” the way many Instagram posts proclaim we should be doing, I’ve since realized the reality is that we’re living in a damn pandemic. We’re stuck at home nearly all day, everyday, and it’s hard. I value Ambivalent Intimacy because it’s a reminder that it’s ok to acknowledge that this is a difficult time, it’s ok to experience loneliness, and it’s good to sit, ruminate over, and have a discourse with those feelings in order to cultivate a deeper understanding of self...
..For me, at the heart of Ambivalent Intimacy is a call to embrace solitude and explore self-love, begging me to query what I have to offer others in the absence of physical proximity, pondering how I can be close to you when I cannot be close to you. If the zenith of intimacy is neither physical touch nor proximity, then what is it, and how can I bring that to my various relationships...? "
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