AND IF I DO: The Uncertainties of Aging

My current visual project addresses one man's inability to redefine himself when cherished family members are facing debilitating illnesses while his own fate is unknown.


My photographs in this series depict a "home" devoid of family, a confined space filled with lamentable emotion. There, for fleeting moments, the individual experiences a yearning to escape the constrained environment before returning to increasing family responsibilities relating to aging.

As we age, we go through a normal yet unsettling process of redefining who we are to ourselves and to society. Constrained redefinition brings about feelings of fear and sadness, leading to loneliness and despair. My challenge as an artist is to envision these challenges, bringing light to the subject and compassion for those sharing this experience.

My husband is not a stranger to Alzheimer's and other lesser known dementias. As a young physician he visited his maternal grandmother who had dementia; his mother succumbed to this disease as well. One of his siblings is battling Alzheimer's and his other sibling has a dementia of unknown ideology. As the only member of his immediate family who has been spared thus far from the wrath of these debilitating diseases, he lives in fear of developing dementia of one form or another. My observations of my husband's personal experience inspire me as I engage with this project on a broader scale.


Because this story is personal to me, I chose to create the images in my studio in an old house that evokes my own past, and holds the memories of families that have lived there. I shoot at night and occasionally at sunset using any and all available light.


Exhibition prints from this series are produced as Ziatype prints on salted gelatin paper; each images is 8"x8" printed on paper that is 12-1/2" x 12" (editions limited to 5). I feel the soft chaulk-like appearance of the Ziatype print enhances the emotional impact of my subject matter.