- 6 photographic stories
The Pane of My Life
‘The Pane of my Life’ is a photographic series showcasing the traumatic events in my lifetime which are represented by still life/domestic objects explaining these specific stories. I display domestic objects as they are comforting to myself and I believe are accurate to perform as an artistic way of each event happened.
I started a new job last late year and getting to know my work friends, questions were asked where I had to explain that my Mum died due to alcoholism when I was only 14, that I had never been in contact with my Father even from when I was born, I was buying my own house and lots of other things. When I explained these chain of events, the reply I received were “you’re so brave! You should write a book!” and that stuck with me ever since. I was given a project at university where we had to create a zine. Instantly, “you should write a book” came into my mind where I wanted to produce a visual book, an autobiography, explaining the chain of events through images. I had previously been creating photographs with still life objects in the domestic space of my own home and started to produce these from beginning at my childhood up to today. A pane is a single sheet of glass or window and I wanted my audience to look into my life, and using the series/zine as my house, it was open for viewers to walk in, make yourself at home and also understand the positive outcome I have achieved from such a traumatizing upbringing.
Growing up with an alcoholic Mum was hard as I had to get myself up and dressed for school, I had to miss breakfast and my Grandma drove me to school everyday. My Grandma gave me money for lunch because I wouldn’t have a lunch box made. I learnt to deal with this as I got older and never fully understood until now.
2) The Start-
On the 2nd July 2013 I was walking home from school when my uncle picked me up to tell me my Mum has died. I went to school the next day carrying on as I would which I thought was better than sitting at home watching my siblings and Grandma grieve when I was still in shock. It was so unexpected, I went to see her in the coffin before the funeral and I couldn’t even cry at the funeral! It wasn’t real to me and I was so confused for 5/6 months before it finally started to hit reality.
When the reality finally sunk in, I was depressed and anxious, I couldn’t believe that I would never see her again. I started counselling that school had kindly provided for me and taking it up, it helped for me to talk about things that I couldn’t talk about at home with my family. I moved into my Grandmas house and nothing felt normal.. it felt like a really long sleepover at my grandparents house, not my new home.
4) Healing process-
6+ years on and I’m not feeling any guilt, anger, upset towards to death of my Mum I’ve reached the final stage of grieving- acceptance. I accepted all of my feelings I had felt throughout the 6 years and learnt that going to college/university and studying photography, is my own form of therapy. Using images to express my emotions has been a creative and productive way for my to cope with grief. When I was in counselling, it helped to let things out but not embrace my emotions to the fullest like I can by creating an image with a camera.
For 20+ years I have never heard, seen or spoke to my birth Dad and I didn’t have a clear answer why. I used to sit down with my Mum who would show me pictures of him and show me love letters they used to send together as he was in the army. She gave me the brief answer that she explained to him she was pregnant and he never came home or spoke to her again, seeing as I had dealt with no father figure for 20 years it wasn’t a issue. However when my Mum died.. that question of why he was never there for me always stuck in my head. I sat down with my siblings one day and found him on Facebook, we left him a kind message but never heard anything. Until January 2020 when I had received a reply off him. We spoke for hours and I finally found out the truth which made sense, we chatting back and forth of our interests and we shared pictures and it was really nice to know he never bothered with me for a bad reason. I was trying to process this all, I couldn’t focus on anything at all and I was demotivated to do anything. I was sick off work for weeks, I hardly went into university lectures. It really effected my head.
I haven’t heard from my Dad in a couple of months and it’s not bothered me massively. I had learnt that over time things change and it makes us who we are but it’s the present that matters now as it changes our past. We all come from different backgrounds and everyone has their own stories, but all I know is that no matter all the horrible things I have been through in my life, it hasn’t stopped me getting jobs, making new friends, studying at college and going to university, buying a car, buying a house, finding myself in a happy relationship where we have a dog. It’s really drove me on a positive path and I know that my Mum would be so proud to see the achievements I’m making now.