Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Family Matters

A Memory of Susan Marshall, My Mother, With Her Family, C. 1970 (2008)

Rosalind Marshall, My Grandmother (2007)

Alan Marshall, My Grandfather (2007)

A Memory of the First Holiday Afterwards, C. 1978 (2008)

All images © Claire Gilliam

This past week has been spent preparing applications for Woodstock Center for Photography's annual 'Photographer's Fellowship  Fund Award', and juried competition 'Photography Now'. They are now out of my hands and awaiting the jurers at CPW. This is the first time I have entered work for any kind of award, and I found the process a bit nerve racking, and time consuming.....but it was worth all the effort, because even if I do not win, I have learnt many things, and realise that it is not so difficult after all just to go for it and see what happens!

The body of work I submitted for both awards was taken from "Family Matters', a project that I began working on last fall, and completed (stage 1) in March. Through the interweaving of text taken from the written recollections of my family, portraits of family members, and the reworking of old snapshots I put together a document that tells of one particular moment in my history. Its interesting to me because whilst it is an intensely personal body of work, that was painful for everyone involved, the collection as a whole begins to reveal the idea of truth and memory, and how this can shape one's life. Its a piece that I think, like my 'self portraits' I shall continue to work is by no means finished! The images above a small sampling of the project.....and a poem which I wrote for the project

My memories of You
are sharp, acute.
I feel every moment lived.
Emotions Cut through my skin
Straight to my Heart.

My History is embedded with yours
Entwined and sculpted.
The 'I am' of me, always
Connected to you. By Chance

One instant bringing change
Unforeseen but destined.
A Grey day sometime black night
Then Blue Sky heralding hope.
Your Gift to me.

No Earthquake could dismantle
My constancy and faith
In You. There, solid, and so strong, 
My kin stand facing outwards
Embracing Me.

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