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At Laurel River Lake.jpg

Looking for Mamaw

February - May 2019


C-41 photographic scans & digital photographs

Each image is titled.


Mamaw is my great-grandmother: Estelle Clark. Estelle passed away when I was ten years old. In my life, one of the things I feel most fortunate about is that I have memories of her. At that time in my life, she was larger than life. One of the things about her I remember most vividly are her doilies. In her home, they were in every room… on nearly every piece of furniture. This series is about incorporating doilies in places she was or could have been. 

The names in the titles are of her husband: Curtis Clark, her sister-in law Robenna Clark, and my grandmother, her daughter Jewel Clark (Lakatos). Some of the titles are based on fact, others fiction. Some of the places are accurate and others aren't. What is most important is the relationship I have with places that I connect back to her. 

Outside of myself, there are myths that arise through the memories of deceased ancestors. These myths romanticise their identities. I know that I romanticise Estelle. If I were to meet her today, I would have very different feelings for her. I would be unable to see outside of her homophobia, racism, and sexism. 

How important is fact from fiction in terms of our ancestors memories? 

How is maternal lineage crucial to the identity of the 21st century feminine ideal? 

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