My series, Sonder, explores the relationship between tangible items and their importance to an individual. Following the theme of loss, the series delves into each subject’s rich connection to objects from lost loved ones. I have been influenced by my own experiences with my father and grandfather to experiment with this concept. When my father died, the memory of him was embodied into the objects that he accumulated throughout his life; almost everything I owned of his became memorialised. I found the act of treasuring these objects that to others would seem insignificant fascinating. The same thing happened for my mother when my grandfather died soon after my sister and I were born. Although I will never remember meeting him, the objects he has left behind will forever be treasured.
Throughout the development, I aimed to make the subjects feel as comfortable as possible. They all kindly invited me into their homes, where I documented the objects displayed in their usual places. This was done to explore how the items are implemented into the subjects everyday lifestyle, further analysing how the loved one’s memory is kept alive. Each person was also asked to write a brief paragraph on the importance of the objects and whom they belonged to.
The creation of Sonder became an incredibly healing experience for me. Relieving these memories through possessions allowed me to explore my grief and in turn associate better memories with my father rather than the death itself. I hope this series has helped the subjects heal themselves as well. I wish for the viewers of Sonder to explore the complex connections to items, and possibly reflect upon their own.
Contact Ella Svensson