pockets full of earth
2013 – Ongoing
This series was inspired by thoughts of our fragile and vulnerable lives. It questions our relationship with life and the loss of it. Our lives are constantly moving and changing with each in breath and out breath, we know we exist. We live our lives often defining ourselves by how others see us. What if some one close to us passes. It sends us into the unknown, facing us with fright and uncertainty. We discover what is true, what is meaningful to us and we may come to understand ourselves with a deeper sense of knowing than before.
I question that if the state of being is taken from us, are we lost or gone? Or do we just expand and drift out into the universe?
After loosing my father to a violent suicide, life would always veer me back to that moment reminding me, showing me, life is fleeting, short and unpredictable. The feelings of instability roamed freely inside my veins. Does death bring to us the depth of recognition? Showing us there is a continuation of life? The cycle of life pushed into my consciousness, and reminded me of its presence, however it wasn’t till my mid thirties that I realized a memory of my father lying in his coffin, was moving over and over in my mind like a broken record. I was tied to and bound tightly by, a deep sense of fear and abandonment.
This was when Pockets full Of Earth was born. Craving peace and reconciliation with my thoughts and feelings regarding dad’s short life, I found comfort in exploring life and death, and the cycle that binds us together. This is something we all have in common.
When I was a child after dad’s death, I was fascinated with animals that were no longer living. My stomach always knotted up seeing a beautiful creature alone and lying in a ditch, killed by our cars or busses. I would gather them up and burry them under the earth. Taking first their wings, I had a large collection of different species of birds feathered wings. Wanting to be an animal and live wild and free, I surrounded myself with beautiful birds feathers, foxes sculls birds nests and beauty from the bush.
Here I re visited this conception, exploring the link from my early childhood, I began collecting native birds and animals that had lost their lives, reflecting on how I felt as a child, being deprived of a life that I wished had continued on. These animals are still beautiful in death, like my father was to me.
Once I have finished a photograph I lay the animals to rest within the bush and say thank you, and goodbye. I also incorporate native Australian fauna and flora in my images along with common weeds that are relevant from memories of my childhood.
Through this series I have found a margin of peace, and solace in expressing his passing and how I remember him. Some times wishing he had never left Africa where he was born, regretting that he looked into the sky up at the big beautiful eagle, standing next to my mother surrounded by the brilliance and beauty of bright peach blossoms and declared yes, he would stay. If their paths didn’t meet I wouldn’t be here. From his seed I was born, I live, cry, love and I breathe in life and existence, and I am truly grateful for that. For without him, no matter how he left his life, I would not exist.