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When I was a teenager, both my parents died. Afterwards, I stayed in our house, alone, for many months surrounded by their clothing, furniture, letters, and religious icons – the objects of their lives.
They were from Ireland and decades later I returned to my family's homeland to photograph. I stayed there for months, searching unfamiliar roads and towns in search of my subject. In the end, I found the intimacy of my own past in the abandoned homes of strangers' an ocean away.
The resulting work speaks to the young woman I was as a teen, abandoned by the death of my parents. After my father’s death, his coat hung over a chair in our living room, destined for his funeral. In an Irish cottage I found a man’s coat draped in the same manner, which evoked a familiar feeling, yet found in an unfamiliar place.
Through this project, I explore the familiar feelings of loss and bereavement through the unfamiliar homes of others. The photographs speak in a steady intonation of Ireland’s history – of the emigration and extinguishment of the Irish people that has left an imprint on the souls left behind – but also my own.

SMCLAUGHLIN

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SMCLAUGHLIN
SMCLAUGHLIN

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