I began my Graduate Studies research during the fall of 2015 at York University in the Visual Arts program. My body of work during this time has been focused on a family photographic archive that I inherited from an aging aunt as she was preparing to move to a care facility. This collection consists of over 3000 images comprised of black and white negatives, photographic paper-based prints and transparency slides dating from the mid 1940's to the late 1970's.
As I started viewing this group of images, I was struck by the fact that although these images are part of my family heritage, the people and events are unknown to me. The more time I spent with this collection, the more I needed to understand the role that photography plays in our lives.
I am a product of the Kodak era of the snapshot. Growing up in the 1960’s in North America, I was able to experience life twice - once first hand and secondly via the family photo album. The ubiquitous “family photo album” has greatly influenced my image making and without a very specific family album that I now possess, my exhibition would not exist as it is.
Renowned critic and author, Susan Sontag, beautifully describes this era of photography as follows: “our photographer [is] on a “journey of discovery,” visiting such new realms as “the world from above,” “the world under the magnifying glass,” “the beauties of every day,” “the unseen universe,” “the miracle of light,” “the beauty of machines,” the picture that can be “found in the street”. In many ways the democratizing snapshot of the everyday positions the photographer on a cultural/social safari, shooting images of his/her life experiences.
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