This is my final project, and it carries along in a bit of a mysterious way. All of the images shown are personal family images. I was always fascinated by the fact that I could go to each aunt, uncle, and cousin’s home and find a totally unique, original photo collection. Each collection of pictures piled up over the years unearth different eras that predate me. But I also feel very connected to those moments, even though I was not there, I feel as if I was.
As if I had felt the connection and bond between various members of my family. In that same way, I seemed to also feel the ramifications of mistakes made by the elder members of my family. The first, and oldest images in the project are of my grandmother(Bless her soul and RIP) and grandfather, who I never met until I was about 20 years old. They formed a union and got married at the tender age of 16, but in the 50s-60s you had to grow up a lot faster. You had to realize that taking care of yourself would be your responsibility before you where about to be taught it, you did not learn how to survive, you just knew.
Sadly, my grandfather left my family members in their childhood and was no longer heard from or seen…… until about 2012-2013, right around the time that my worst fear came true. Losing my grandmother, the most important human in my world; before I am able to grow up and let her see me find my purpose.
With all of this in mind, it is no surprise that these images mean a lot to me. Many members of my family, mainly the elder members, are still hurt and another factor of what it means to mature and grow to the point where your world is no longer centered around yourself was revealed to me through reflecting on the subject. and I see him in each set of eyes that I look into.
Ours are a group of people who know great happiness and great despair. We know pain, but we seek happiness. At times it may seem fleeting, but whenever you look back on a smile, it takes a special type of person to regret it. It also takes a special type of person to forgive someone who has hurt not only you, but your mom, your aunts, your uncles, everyone important to you.
Somehow we forgave him because, well, you only get one grandfather.
I titled it TEARS AND JOY: I think thats fitting.