My Grandma has always been an inspiration to me. She got me interested in art at an early age. A few years ago she was diagnosed with dementia. Since her diagnoses I have noticed her become more and more forgetful. As hard as it is to watch her memory slowly fade away, it also has encouraged me to ask more questions and document what she still remembers. For this series I explored my Grandma’s house, capturing photographs of her, her paintings, and the tools she used to create her work. During this process I learned the portraits she painted from the 1960’s & 1970's were images taken from National Geographic Magazine. I then searched used bookstores to find these magazines. I also found some of the same items in her house that she used to set up her still life paintings and recreated them by photographing the same objects in the same arrangement as she painted them about 50 years ago.
Update: This series was hung in the Regis center for my Bachelor of Arts Senior Show. I invited my grandma to attend the shows reception and to view the photographs that documented her. I was nervous to see her reaction to this series, only because I heard her ask my mom; “What are we here to see?” as we walked towards the building. When she stood in front of the familiar images, her jaw dropped and she covered her mouth. She said; “This is wonderful” and then asked when I did all of this. I reminded her I have been doing this every time I came to her house for the past several months. Soon after we arrived, people were coming up to her, saying they recognized her from my photos. She was thrilled to be acknowledged. The only people who have ever seen her paintings before were our family and her friends when she used to have dinner parties. At one point she was standing in front of the display, talking to all the people who made the connection between the photographs and herself. She carried on conversations about her paintings and my photographs with dozens of people. It was amazing to see her confused upon arrival to telling strangers all about her paintings and the subjects in them. It was a very special moment that I will treasure always. Since the show she said that after over 30 years of not painting, she wants to start painting again.