"In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die;
Ever drifting down the stream,
Lingering in the golden gleam -
Life, what is it, but a Dream?"
- Lewis Carroll
There is a very short period of time that everyone is a child, and only so many summers we can experience as a child, before they "die", and we must become adults. In this series, I focus on the fleetingness of time, and the dream like world my daughter takes me to, as she escapes into her imagination in the outside world of our home, the Ohio landscape. Through multiple exposures and a technique called freelensing in which I hold my broken film lenses, detached from the camera, I have tried to create the world which she imagines and inhabits. One in which time is irrelevant and where fairies do exist, and she is Queen of the Butterflies. It is an escape to wonderland, a dream world she flies away to, and always comes back.
Song of the Cicadas I and II (summer of 2016 and 2017)
In June 2016 our house is covered with Cicadas. They are everywhere, dried up exoskeletons that you ride your bicycles around as though it is normal to have thousands of bugs everywhere. One day I tell you , "let's collect the wings for a photo I want to make." And so you and I fill up mason jars, half full with perfect tiny insect wings. I try to explain to you that they will not be here for another 17 years. Try to remember what this summer is like, you as an almost 6 year old, the summer of the Cicadas, when Momma was 39 and all your brothers were home, two of them teenagers, and your closest brother, your best friend. I tell you to close your eyes and remember how it felt to be small. I have done this my whole life, taking in a feeling of being a certain age, looking around at the faces and landscape. This is how it feels. Remember. When you open your eyes 17 years later, when the cicadas come again, you will be 23. Can you imagine? No you cannot, you say. And so in the warm air, we continue collecting the clear perfect, identical wings. I think of you flying away one day maybe at 23, maybe sooner, of your brothers finding their wings first. How time changes everything. In 17 years things will be different. In the thick Magnolia scented warm air, I close my eyes. Remember the summer of the Cicadas. Remember what this felt like. Look around. I pause for a few brief seconds, taking it all in. And we continue around the yard collecting the wings and remarking how strange these brown bug bodies are. how very strange.
This series started in 2016 and continued into 2017. I don't know if there will be another "summer of the cicadas" like this. These photographs of single, delicate and fragile moments of time, I collected just as we collected the beautiful see through wings of the cicadas, that summer of 2016. Like the cicadas that lived such a short time, these moments did too. They were beautiful and real, and then they were gone, only to be remembered in photographs, just as all we had left were the wings of the cicadas in the end. Each photograph in this series is a beautiful individual moment, that was not a memory as it was taken, but became one in it's afterlife. However, strung together, in this series, this is their "song", like the cicadas, of those magical summer days.