‘Between cold stars and Death’s slow river’ is about my late father’s memory loss, which was a side effect of his lung cancer, and my own fading memories of him.
Using archival photographs of him from my family photo albums, I have reclaimed the images by cropping into them to construct new landscapes and make my own narrative. In his last few months he lost his sense of identity due to his memory loss. I have represented this by never showing him fully in any of the photographs. Glimpses of him can be seen throughout the book, a part of his body; his hands, his clothes, his belongings, to build a picture of how he would have seen himself in those last few months. I wanted to show the places that he occupied physically and mentally to build a story of his life. The lack of him in the photographs also represents my relationship to him now, nearly four years after his death. I visit places that are sentimental that I went with him often. I can remember his physicality, his voice, his mannerisms, but all my memories of him are shrouded in a dreamlike haze, almost as if I have romanticised them. The new places I have made from existing photographs of him, embody how it feels to visit places I went with him, now without him. The concertina book expresses the idea of memory. When stretched out fully, the viewing of it is uninterrupted. The photographs blend into one long blur, similarly to my own memories of him. When I think of my father, it is not isolated memories, rather a feeling, an emotional blur of colours and sounds.