My vision for this photographic series was to create a thread of images focusing on the maternal lineage in my home. My parents are currently the only living branches of these ancestries—so this project has brought to me more of an understanding of personal family history. These eleven photos are loaded with symbolic imagery and family heirlooms that were handed down for generations from matriarchs to the younger women in our families. The heirlooms used include a mirror from my paternal great grandmother and pearls/jewelry chest from my maternal lineage.
I also wanted this series to represent the fragility of life and quickness of passing from the natural world to the spiritual world. There is such a thin veil, which separates us from those we love. Separation is extremely difficult and often is isolating—there is so often a longing to meet with those who have passed on. The spirit, strength, and courage of these immigrant women became a thread that is sown and intertwined within who I am. This series is dedicated to these women and all the hopes and dreams that they carried for me—all without having known me. It is representative of my connection to them way beyond the veil of this life.
List of References & Inspirations:
Maya Deren. Meshes of the Afternoon. Photographs/documentary. 1943.
Vivian Maier. Portraits and mirror photography.
Duane Michals. Joseph Cornell. Portrait photograph. 1970.
Duane Michals. Warren Beatty. 1961.
Duane Michals. Grandpa Goes to Heaven. 1989.
Duane Michals. The Human Condition. 1968-69.
“Good portraits are always that, the balance between the person being who he is plus the identity of the photographer.” – Duane Michals