When a Project Finds You...

In my experience as an artist, I have found that sometimes I have quite consciously looked for, chosen, and worked on a project. At other times, a project has found me. This happened to me earlier this year when I spent two months cleaning out the house that my parents had lived in for nearly 70 years.

One morning, I walked through the dining room and saw the shadow of a chair being cast against a door. What I registered was how empty that chair-shadow looked, and it made me think of how the family would never again sit around that table to share a meal in that house. I took a picture of it... just because it seemed important to.


The next day, the sun streamed through the bathroom window. After showering, I opened the door and saw that my silhouette was being cast onto the opposite wall. I remembered the photograph of the chair I had taken the previous day, and suddenly realized that these shadows perfectly summed up what I was experiencing at that time: loss, the fugitive nature of time and memory, emptiness.


I realized that these pictures could speak for me at a time when words were simply inadequate, and kept taking them for the next two months until I left the house for the last time. I'm now sifting through the more than 3,000 images that I took, still amazed at how suddenly this project emerged, and how it found me when I wasn't even looking.