Format & Medium:
150mm film, 11” x 17”
Silver Gelatin Print
Why do heritage and tradition play a part in how we come to think about our lives and ourselves? Is it because our upbringing is all we once knew? The way in which we were raised, essentially the ways we were formed and framed, shapes the means by which we come to think about the world and our own identity.
I told myself that I didn’t learn creativity early on, that I wasn’t raised around the arts, and that I wasn’t artistically stimulated in my youth. Now I return to my home and my memories, the way I was raised, and find a surprising thread of creativity woven in between the strands of my upbringing.
My grandmother is a seamstress, a cook, a gardener, a quilter, a homemaker, a dancer, a costume designer… I find I was possibly raised in an environment that did indeed foster the arts, but in a different way than what I perceived as the designation. Why isn’t a seamstress, a cook, a gardener considered an artist? I find myself erasing the line I drew between “high” art and “folk” art.
Instead of accusing my childhood for what I perceived as a lack of artistic presence, I am rediscovering my heritage and the basis of my creative identity through photographing my grandmother in her own routine.
Artistry has emerged from the place of my childhood, even though I never witnessed it in the moment. The images of my grandmother formulate a notion of her identity; similar to the one that I see reflected back at me.
Her portrait symbolizes a legacy of the life she grew and the one that she dedicated to my mother and then the life my mother gave to me. Through her daily rituals, her chores, and her schedule, artistry emerges gracefully from the only way she knows how to live.
So, what are the boundaries between art and life and why does one find that they need to write out these definitions? I find that my grandmother, my childhood, and my heritage are living between them.