As someone who does not commonly look toward the future, I often find myself dreading the changes to come. In this project, “The Ideal Past” I focus on my relationship to space, time, and memory through themes of loss, relationship, and change. This work explores places that are important to me such as structures, objects, and natural environments that thematically correspond with change and progression. I have a strong desire to permanently capture what exists to hold how my relationships feel in the moment. My mom captured her memories through her own artistic practice of taking pictures of our daily lives and memorializing those family memories in scrapbooking. My artistic practice is my own version of memorializing my memories and experiences, reflecting what my mom has done for our family in keeping our memories.
To create my images, I use alternative photographic methods, such as cyanotypes and Van Dyke brown. I use digital images that I have taken, and convert them into digital negatives. I paint these emulsions onto watercolor paper without precision or care to reflect the fleeting nature of ephemera. This process leaves brushstrokes and drips on the paper, which shows through when I expose the negative on the paper. This work builds on the tradition of cyanotype and its historic use of documenting botany that began with Anna Atkins. I contact print the digital negatives with parts of flowers and other natural materials to showcase the temporality of nature.
As much as my work is about my perspective it is also about being a human and experiencing the progression of life. I explore how we experience time and how reminiscing sometimes leads us to see our memories through rose-colored glasses. It is my hope that others will see my work as an alternative means to reflect on the ways in which we retain relationships, and how we interact with our environments and navigate the different stages of life.