reality slips

On the road again. I flew back east to take more family photographs, talk with my mentor, and continue to clarify my direction this term.

I am finally feeling good about what I am focusing on in my work and after talking with Christopher. I feel that I am now headed in the right direction for me. We talked about what what happening in some of my images and also review some of the strengths that I felt were missing from so many of the images I have been creating while shooting my everyday project. He also reinforced some of the feedback that received from both my advisor Oscar and colleague Carol.

Because the turmoil in my family that began to effect my health both mentally and physically I wanted to remove myself from any concepts relating to my family. I knew in some way I would be compromising myself and my images if I choose a detail to focus on that was too removed from what I need to express and understand. Yet I was worn down and physically ill. I felt I could not dig any deeper with my family.

What I needed was a way, without traveling thousands of miles, to explore my childhood memories, family relationships, and dysfunctional behaviour. While still exploring what it is that is so surreal in my family dynamics, I struggle to know what is truth and what is fiction. I needed a new method to create images of these moments where most everything thing appears normal but in this photographed reality something is askew.

While visiting I will ask my family about memories they have had; circumstances where they were afraid or anxious, when they wondered when the shoe was going to drop, when the skeletons would fall out of the closet, or when the straw was going to break. Perhaps they might remember if there was a time when they were little where they wondered where all the adults went or perhaps memories of role reversal between the children and adults. I will ask them what they remembered about certain events and what they saw. What body language did they observe. That along with my own recollections I will begin to sketch the scenes. I will set them up and work with friends, and friends of friends to recreate my memories that I need to express. I will become the director.

Meanwhile I my aunt purchased three new crows for her front courtyard. She loves art and makes a commitment to purchase art at least once a year. This fall she purchased three crows from an artist Mark Chatterley. She purchased one of his large figurative pieces in memory of my Papa. Later she purchased a second so she could have one in both of her homes. I love the texture and the decay of them the seemingly impermanent quality they appear to have. Yet they are ceramic and can withstand all the elements that Michigan weather can throw on them. They are beautiful, raw, and give pause for the viewer to ponder at what are these life size figures. When I look at them I feel stillness. I needed to go see all of his work so we went to the River Gallery Fine Art in Chelsea Michigan where he had a show up for exhibition. It was amazing to see his work in person and to feel the scale of them figures.

Traveling again tomorrow to stay with my sister and my niece and nephews. On the way up north we will visit a rapture rehabilitation center and hopefully if we have enough time an apple orchard to pick our own apples, eat donuts and fresh cider. I can't remember the last time I was in Michigan for the leaves changing color, the cool crisp air, and apples that crack when you bite into them.