After my father’s death, I discovered a box of letters written to my mother one year after they were married. They were written by him during a trip to his birthplace, Velbert, Germany, from which he emigrated to Canada after WW2. He was returning to visit his family for what he suspected would be his last visit with his aging mother. It was his first trip away from my mother.
The box contained both postcards and letters – a dichotomy of the public and private; the public places and common language of postcards that we use to mark our travels, and the private sentiments we impart to loved ones in letters from places far away.
I have used photographs taken during the trip to reflect specific places he visited while in Germany, and have picked out both intimate and everyday phrases from the letters to weave into these images. The intention is to reflect the unseen presence these places now held for him, that of my mother waiting back at home – a juxtaposition of public and private, memory, absence and place.
Hand bound, 5-panel, double-sided French fold accordion gicleé on Hahnemuhle paper, in a hand bound gicleé envelope on Hahnemuhle paper. Archival quality.
Envelope: 7” x 9.5”, Accordion book: 6” x 8.75” (closed) 6” x 39.25” (extended)