Friday, December 18, 2009

COMMON APPLICATION ARTS SUPPLEMENT Photography by Emma Coleman: Mapping


Last Thursday my Grandma, after suffering from pneumonia and the repercussions of several brutal falls, passed away.  My mother's siblings traveled thousands of miles (from Germany and from Idaho) to say their goodbyes and to comfort each other.  We were all heartbroken.  It was a weekend of tears and stories, of old photographs and love letters.  At one point, after coming across a stack of grainy videos that brought back some of my fondest memories of her, I was overwhelmed by grief and couldn't seem to stop crying.  A family friend pulled me aside and comforted me with very brief, yet miraculously assuring words of wisdom.  She recited to me the old proverb about grieving: "Pain comes and goes- love lasts."

For this project I mapped the love that my grandmother left behind, in its most tactile form: her children.  I photographed each of them in a location or with objects that made them feel most at home.  For my uncle Sean it was the comfort of a playground, for my uncle Tim, the soothing purr of a housecat and for my mother, a familiar mattress and one of her works of textile art.  I attempted to capture each of them at a moment of laughter or vulnerability.  I wanted to map the purest glimmers of life within each of them, signs, I think, that my grandmother's loving spirit lives on. 

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