You remember to write it down. You even look at the list in the morning because you remember writing it down last night. That look comes over your face, a sort of cringe, your brow furrows just a bit.
That has been my routine for quite a while. Intentions are just that, intentions.
There have been two things on my perpetual list: continue my work of documenting aging and dementia through art and blogging. The first began while I was a student at Rollins College. My digital photography course required a semester long project culminating with a peer review of our work. Throughout the semester, we were also required to blog about our ongoing work. Well, the end of the semester came, as did my time to graduate. Silence.
Through much encouragement from my own family, I am picking up the torch (a.k.a. camera) and getting back in to the driver’s seat or saddle (which ever applies to you) and moving forward with my art and this blog.
Until next time…
Photography can have a powerful impact on both the audience and the photographer. As the photographer, this series has been very cathartic due to the personal aspect of the project. After losing my mother recently, the quickly progressing dementia in my father-in-law had pushed me into a place where I needed to process the emotions. Shooting these images has enabled me to find a place of purpose and use the influence of art to share a story that at one time or another touches us all.
Artist Statement The inevitability of aging and the peripheral ailments that accompany this process is something I have witnessed first hand through the relationship with my father-in-law. I have watched him deteriorate over the years, first mentally and now physically. The memories in my mind of a vivacious and loving man are in contrast with what I see now, the slow unraveling of life. With mortality as the subject, my images are not of just anyone. They are images that provide an intimate and private perspective of a man’s difficulties as well as his perseverance and resolve.
My project challenges the viewer to look closely with their eyes, imagine what they might hear with their ears, and reflect on their own life and ponder their own mortality. My photographs capture the evidence of an ailing man’s life to communicate the soul that still exists within the universal inevitability of aging. Using a documentary style, I seek to explore the visualization of life through the consecutive moments that pass before our eyes, literally and figuratively.
Creating images that reflect a life experience so close to your heart can be difficult. Aging and dementia are part of the daily thoughts that run through my head. I, at least, am able to verbalize those thoughts. The images I have posted today communicate a story, a life, which is no longer able to tell his or her story.
The images are simple and capture the eyes of a loved one. They say you can see much through ones eyes; pain, sadness, anger, love. I hope to tell the audience the untold story that may not be spoken, but is told through the eyes. As I continue with this project, I hope to expand the story beyond the eyes of the one affected and incorporate a broader view of the topic.