Wednesday, August 14, 2019
The obituary, a family photo — these form and record a life’s memories. Both synopsize familiar human experiences — living, loving — and were created for personal use. The sameness and difference exemplified in these personal remembrances create a sense of community and make us aware of our common humanity.
In fall 2015, I began work on a combinatorial project, “Remember me: a collective narrative in found words and photographs.” This project intimately connects vernacular photographs with anecdotes culled from family/friend-written obituaries. Every United States state and many Canadian provinces are represented. Daily, the work brings me joy so I continue to make new pieces.
I hand-embroider anecdotes from obituaries into found snapshots and studio portraits. The obituaries published (and paid for) in local newspapers and on websites (by funeral homes and international businesses like Legacy.com) are written by those who knew and loved the deceased. Snapshots and studio portraits are taken out of love to remember people, places and times. Embroidery is a decorative technique, and, when done by hand — stitch-by-stitch — an insistent, devotional act.
In “Remember me” the photos “read” the texts and vice versa, teasing pretension, tragi-comedy and profound truths about the human condition from sentimental artifacts. In seeking empathetic connections, I create representative keepsakes.
The concept behind my project is to ultimately, intimately, illustrate our collective narrative. We see our personal truths reflected, through words and photographs, in the lives of others. We are reminded, in this exceptionally acrimonious age, of our commonalities — that we are more alike than we are different.
I've attached a few of my favorite pieces and shot of a current exhibition. Please feel free to send feedback and/or contact me with your thoughts/comments about this work. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thanks for looking!
I post a piece most days on Instagram:
You can see many more pieces here: