“Everyday life is a life lived on the level of surging affects, impacts suffered or barely avoided. It takes everything we have. But it also spawns a series of little somethings dreamed up in the course of things.”― Kathleen Stewart, Ordinary Affects
I started photographing my parents at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia. I boarded an empty plane back to Hobart, catapulted into my childhood bedroom and remained in quarantine for fourteen days. I suddenly became interested in the highly personal, yet familiar aspects of ordinary life at home and the lives of my parents.
What is a normal family? My Mum had me when she was twenty-three. That was probably more normal back in her day, but I’m now older than she was and I don’t have a child. I don’t know what this means, but I began to look at old family photographs and VHS tapes, trying to come to terms with the fact they were once my age. What were they like? I only know them now as my parents. But what were they actually like? Would I have been friends with them in another life? These questions start to linger over me.
My parents participate in making the photographs and they often have control over the conditions and poses in the work, however there is a blurring of candid and performed scenes. I often sit and wait for something to happen, and my parents often sit and wait for me to focus the camera. My Mother is much more forgiving and patient, my Dad less so.
Although few definitive answers have been found, sometimes it’s just the simple fact we’ve been reunited through the making of these photographs, something that has brought us closer together.
Selected as a finialist for the Ballarat International Foto Biennale GradFoto program