Caroline explores the notion of loss as an overarching theme by examining a mother's illness and its profound impact on her daughter. My work is inspired by a desire to understand my relationship with my mother, Caroline. Throughout my life I have struggled to accept her illness and its impact on me. Through photography, performance, and imaginative play I am able to initiate a new relationship with her and to explore intimacy, connection, nostalgia, and loss. Through this body of work, my mother and I enter into a world of our imagination where we collaborate as artist and mother. We work from a desire to express a time before she was ill and to recognize and reinvent who we are now, and who we can become in the future. As a daughter I turn my lens towards my mother as well as towards my own legacy. I incorporate the familial through a lineage of women and investigate the domestic spaces they inhabit. I look to my grandmother's house and the surrounding landscape as a place of refuge and contemplation while also shedding light on feelings of fear, melancholia, and disorientation. Woven together, these images create a narrative that speaks to the complexity, richness and ambiguity of our relationship. The fragmented narrative reflects my inability to wholly make sense of my mother's illness. I have struggled to understand, but I am left trying to embrace the uncertainty and meaning of my circumstances.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Photography, Artistic--Themes, motives; Portrait photography; Mothers and daughters--Pictorial works; Diseases in art; Grief in art
Department, Program, or Center
School of Photographic Arts and Sciences (CIAS)
Sheffield, Charence Jr
Cogsdill, Margaret, "Caroline" (2013). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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