What do our private spaces signal about who we are? I answer this question by photographing spaces and objects that show signs of use but, at the moment the picture is taken, are vacant of all people and activity. I want to convey a sense of absence rather than a sense of abandonment and hint at the idea of a missing human presence. My work includes still lifes of jumbled belongings with various degrees of personal and financial value, in addition to interior spaces that are seen by a limited number of viewers, such as bedrooms and empty closets.
Over the last few months, my work has focused exclusively on spaces that are formerly and presently used by my grandmother, a 92-year-old woman who had lived in her home for over four decades before moving into my family’s home a few months ago. Inspired by Larry Sultan’s depiction of his parents in their long-time family home and Fred Herzog’s street photography, I seek to authentically capture the life of an elderly woman, as these women so seldom get the spotlight. My photographs include not only things that spark interest, like old family photos and beaded necklaces, but also the mundane, like sticks of deodorant and empty clothing hangers. It is the combination of both that shows the depth of a life led for over nine decades.