LOOKING FOR YOU, ALWAYS
is a 35mm film photography series containing darkroom prints I developed in April, 2022. My artist statement is included below.
In these photos, I wanted to have control over the way I brought the trees to life, which is why I used an artificial light source to illuminate them at night. This also created a haunted and slightly unnatural tone throughout the photos to reflect the weight of the topic. I have a complicated relationship with these photos. They contain the complexity of my pain; the love and sadness that are intertwined in remembrance, the insatiable yearning for company that I can never experience again. I am haunted by these feelings. However, I can still find some comfort in continuing to look for the people I’ve lost, scattered in bits and pieces throughout my life.
— April 28th, 2022
I am often reminded of the two people close to me that have died—my friend and grandfather—while walking around in nature. My friend was filled with love for the natural world, even requesting that I send her photos of the trees that dotted the street outside my dorm when we went off to separate colleges. I grew up adjacent to my grandpa in rural Wisconsin, with a forest in between our houses that my grandpa and dad planted by hand. To think that their hands have touched all those trees and saw to their growth makes me quite emotional. I have memories of my grandpa pointing at trees and identifying what type they were, sometimes remarking that they were diseased or needed a trim. I know he’d be able to look at these photos and tell me exactly what trees they were. I never took the time to learn the names of trees like he and my friend had, but I am reminded of them when I look at trees, seeing their life continue through them. For that reason, it felt right to honor them using trees as the subject of this series. I view trees as being their own sacred bodies. They house the spirits of those I have lost, and going forward it is something that I will endlessly search for.
Looking For You, Always is an exploration of the way that grief has affected me. In April of 2022, a close friend of mine died, forcing me to face the difficult reality that I would never see her again. I felt that this series was born out of the loss of control that came with this sudden change in my life.