About the Book
My father died four and a half years ago from cancer, the summer before I left for college. While home I witnessed each member of my family dealing with this loss differently, but together. In going away to school that fall I missed much of the transition period and instead came back each break to something new that had been added or changed at home—fresh wallpaper, different furniture, a new car. My mother had found ways to come to terms with her new life alone in our house by transforming it into a new space. The farm outside was the same way; it was no longer how it was when I had left. Some familiar things remained, untouched by the chaos, but it was uncertain for how long. Home still felt like home, but there was always this fear that even that might change.
With this work I'm capturing the current state of our farm and my home before anything else changes. I see this book and this project as a letter to my father. In a way I want to tell him what has changed since he left, but also show him what we have kept the same in an attempt to keep parts of him alive. This work serves as a memorial to my father and the life he built. It is my way of telling him that everyone is okay, that is has been hard, but we are all doing our best to move forward as he would have wanted us to. I consider the book, its text and images, a conversation between my father and myself.
I was born in 1987 and grew up on a farm in the small rural town of Bronson, Michigan, where there are probably more farm animals than people and only two working traffic lights. In 2006 I moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, started college at Harvard University, and fell in love with the city of Boston. Ensuring that I would never be employable, I graduated with a BA in Visual and Environmental Studies in May 2010. I currently live in Rochester, New York, which I’ve learned is actually the arctic, judging by its cruel weather. This is my second year of graduate school at Rochester Institute of Technology - a campus composed almost solely of hipsters and engineers. I am working on my MFA in Photography.