What Did the Deep Sea Say (ongoing)
We all have secret desires and memories that we keep in the quiet of our hearts. Some of us take those secrets to our graves, but the photographs we leave behind can betray our trust and hint at the private lives we led. My work focuses on the role photographs play in the subjective re-telling of history. With this series of images called What Did the Deep Sea Say, fact and fiction blur as I uncover the personal history of my deceased grandmother during World War II.
When I found a long-forgotten suitcase of photographs and unprinted negatives that once belonged to Grandma Carolyn, I uncovered a story of a vibrant young woman who temporarily left her life in the Northeast in the mid-1940s to live a carefree life in balmy Hollywood, Florida. With only her photos as my guide, I return to Hollywood to retrace my grandmother's steps; to find the home she once owned; and to piece together the early beginnings of her life-long connection to the handsome priest that we knew only as Father Jim.
With the sea as the backdrop, I also photographed myself and my mother as we sought to find out more about the life of this woman we knew only as mother and grandmother. By reprinting her photographs and interweaving them with my own, I am attempting to reach across space and time to connect with her ghost and meet her anew. What Did the Deep Sea Say is an on-going series about the unknowable ocean that swells within us all and the uncovering of its familiar tides within my own maternal lineage.