Since my sister Kate died last year, I have been intermittently delving into images of her to develop a series of portraits. It’s slow going, more therapy than creativity perhaps. The first portrait I was happy with is this one, ‘Dear departed’, and it has been selected as a finalist in the Olive Cotton Award for Photographic Portraiture, opening today.
Here’s my artist statement about the image:
“My beautiful sister Kate died recently, after losing her fraught 20-year battle with an eating disorder. Kate loved walking in her local national park, finding nature less troublesome than human relationships.
After losing her, it struck me how bereavement plays tricks on your mind, making you believe that you see the object of your grief everywhere around. Although I don’t believe in an ‘after-life’, I do believe that our life energy is absorbed back into the universe in the same way that our body is.
This portrait combines these ideas – an ephemeral vision of Kate emerges from, and represents the dispersal of her spirit into, the natural environment that she loved.”
Here is a link to the Olive Cotton Award for Photographic Portraiture 2013 catalogue.