Innocence & Reality
Updated: Jan 25, 2020
For a few years, I have had this idea to create a project that dealt with children and death. At first, I wasn't sure why. I've always thought it would be interesting to make images that are beautiful but make people feel so uncomfortable. The more I thought about the series the more I began to realize that it was actually a reflection of the loss in my life.
I lost a number of people close to me during my adolescence. It impacted my life greatly and forced me to grow up quickly. When the storm had finally settled I needed someone to blame for all of the pain and brokenness I felt inside me. My heartfelt like it was ripped out and thrown in a shredder and I didn't understand how to cope with it. I didn't want to blame God, I believe that he has a purpose for all of our pain. And I couldn't blame those who I lost because of the love I still had for them. So I decided to blame death. He was the reason, he was the person I threw my burden of guilt upon. This allowed me to get rid of the darkness but I was still angry and didn't want to accept death. Through this series, I found healing and understanding of this unspoken struggle. I am no longer a victim of my past and the loss that has so greatly affected me. Now I have accepted and respect death and the power that it has.
There are three characters in the series, the dark figure of death itself and two children who both interact with death in a different way. These images are mysterious and haunting which helps to convey the way that I felt when death was a constant part of my life. The series was shot on medium format 400 film. I chose this medium to emphasize the texture and mood of the images. Shot in two different locations, a cemetery, and the woods, the series sufficiently capture the emotions I was feeling in this complicated time.
(On a lighter note, while we were shooting the kids enjoyed the gas mask best of all. They each took turns wearing it as we hiked to the shoot location. I can only imagine the thought of the two families we passed by.)