The concept of unreliable memory serves as the inspiration for this body of work. Research has demonstrated that a significant portion of early childhood memories may not have actually occurred, and even adult eyewitness testimony can be flawed. Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus has shown that it is possible to plant false memories that appear indistinguishable from authentic ones. This raises the question of whether authentic memory truly exists.
The process of accessing memories is inherently constructive, as the mind recreates places and experiences in the moment of recollection. This prompts consideration of the extent to which our memories accurately reflect objective truth.
The blending and augmenting of memories with imagined elements, as well as the subjective interpretation and context that can alter the meaning of a memory, further complicate our understanding of the past. The camera also plays a role in transforming a moment of objective truth into a potentially misleading representation.
This series began with a return to places of distant memory from my own childhood, chosen for having never been revisited prior to photographing.
I recorded each scene as a digitally stitched panorama. These images were then transferred onto medium format celluloid as black and white negatives and used to transfer the images to mixed media fragments treated with silver nitrate in the darkroom. These I collaged back together to physically rebuild each landscape of memory, creating a new interpretation of the past. The completed reconstructions were then photographed digitally and placed back into the original scenes as photocomposites.
The process of creating these images is meant to parallel the internal experience of reconciling reality with memory, and the finished product is the result of this process. The themes of objective reality versus subjective interpretation, and the tenuous reliability of memory, are central to this work.
This series received a Neutral Density (ND) Award in 2021.
This series received a Fine Art Photography (FAPA) Award Nomination in 2022.
Each image in this series is available to purchase as a signed, limited edition archival C-type print.