I began thinking about how these adjunct spaces in our homes and private environments reinforce our identities through the construction of the comfort we seek in life. Our private and personal architecture within our homes have a greater self-representation that we don’t always consciously recognize. In the process of these prints I found a common theme of these rooms being commemorative to our past selves and personal loss, while also functioning as alters to our ego and nostalgia.
We are so tied to these personal environments, but what purpose do they serve besides perpetual consumption? Alain de Botton’s book the The Architecture of Happiness points out that when people feel the most disconnected from one part of their self, they seek to surround themselves in the very things that they feel are missing from their outward appearance.
As I began asking people to invite me into their homes this thought held true with a large portion of my participants. Many people work hard to have these spaces in order to feel more connected, not only with the space, but who they feel they are at their deepest level and the creative drive to outwardly express that. I also found a large theme of coping with loss and the need to remember our past.
I made the intentional choice for my final images to be only printed in single contact sheet form. This view of the image presents as if its audience is looking through a window into someone’s home. Allowing one to be a voyeur into another’s physically constructed space in our modern time. The image asks the observer to get close to it because of its small scale, inviting the viewer to peer into the print. The paper that I used to print these 4x5 negative contact sheet prints is Kodak brand AZO paper which for a long time was used for newspaper contact sheets, because it gives a deep range of true black tones. However due to its chemical compound it was discontinued in the 1990’s.
An artist her self, she taught me how to paint, sew, and garden. She is an encourager of creativity and an appreciator of beauty. My art is a product of her influence in my life.
In my time I observed the contrast between her aging impairments and her appreciation for what is still bright and beautiful in life. I began photographing her and her surroundings the winter of 2012 with the intent of trying to capture this spirit.
Prompted by a photo-imaging concept, I merged salvaged 35mm film end frames from old personal rolls by using Photoshop techniques to create a full frame. Playing with the accidental quality of these subconsciously exposed frames, I found a complimentary role in the equation of intentionally constructing from unintended moments.