Understanding the Familiar focuses on reconnecting with my deceased mother by

recording rituals and ceremonies to contact her spirit. I create and perform these

rituals myself and with family, as well as with specific objects that once belonged to

my mother. By creating these spaces for my family members we embark on navigating

through our own experience of loss. Not only has it been cathartic, but the project has

also helped me comprehend death within a societal context. Due to medical advancements,

technology, and societal norms, death has become nearly invisible. It's something we don't

typically witness, but are informed of instead.


By bridging life and death in these images I aim at continuing the conversation and

exploration Victorian Spiritualists initiated throughout the late 19th and early 20th

century. This was a particular time in Western culture when sicknesses were

rampant and often untreatable. The visibility of death pushed citizens for a new

understanding of what it meant to die, and the camera was an instrument that

helped rationalize and ground this mystery. With this series my family and I search

for that similar understanding by choosing to get close with death. By sharing the

desire to be spirit communicators we allow ourselves to be guided by mystic forces

as we graze the realm of uncertainty.

Editions available in 13” x 19” & 22” x 31”

Archival Carbon Pigment Prints.