Her Piano, My Hands
How do you photograph someone who is no longer around? This was the guiding question I asked myself as I approached this body of work. Her Piano, My Hands is a series in which I attempted to create a portrait of my mother, who passed away when I was nine years old.
I only ever knew Eileen as my mother—I never got the chance to know who she was independent of this role. Through visiting her childhood home, school, and other places significant to her life and by digging through the artifacts she left behind, I aimed to get to know a person who I only thought of as “Mom.”
She too was an artist—she wrote music, poetry, and took photographs. I let the topics and style of her work influence the way I photographed to try and understand how she saw the world. I wanted to allow her authorship in this project and chose to pair my images with some of her creations. As the project evolved, it became about loss and grief but in its core, it was always about my desire to know who my mother was.