My objective for this project was to explore memories and how they fail/ get modified over time, both in your mind and in photographs. As an expanded photography project I chose to combine photography with some sort of sculpture. Originally I was going to build a head and bust of my daughter using photographs of her over the years. When I started building onto a mannequin head and bust I was dissatisfied with the results because the sculpture itself was not malleable and the photos ended up just being the “skin” of the project. The pre-formed bust was too foreign from the actual subject (my daughter). I started instead to modify paper by crumpling, folding, and cutting and presented a few options at the in-process crit. Eventually I landed on using found family photographs from my phone and computer over the years. I chose momentous events that are in my memory such as the birth of my daughter, posed family photos with my husband and kids, first days of school for my son and daughter, school photographs and birthdays.
I chose to present these in the form of paper crafts I used to do with my kids when they were little as another play on memory and family events. The cutting and folding modified the photos enough that the visuals are distorted but still identifiable as family photos. I display them on a colourful ribbon reminiscent of family gatherings and celebrations using tape and colourful pins.
I experimented with different papers to print on but in the end chose regular printer paper as it provided a nice level of fuzziness (like a memory) for the photos and had a nice stretchiness for the forms. Photo paper was too rigid and glossy.
The form of the decorations drove the sizing. I did modify some of the framing of the shots so that key elements were still visible once the forms were made.
I did not sketch this project in advance but spent several hours choosing the right photos with different colours and subjects and also choosing the right form of “decoration” to use so that the photos were at the right level of identifiable and distorted.
Overall I am very pleased with the result and am curious to see the class’ reaction. I am a close to the actual photos so they invoke in me feelings of nostalgia and sadness along with happy memories. While the photos are of my family, I attempted to choose themes and compositions that would be understandable to most individuals even if they would not recognize the people in the photos.