Heartbeats

I’m older now than my father was when he died of alcoholism at the age of 41. At the time I was nine years old. About the same age as my two sons are now. I have very little recollection of my dad. He wasn’t a bad person but he just wasn’t a dad for me either. Maybe he didn’t know how. His own relationship with his dad had been very problematic. I remember crying when my mother told me about his death, but that was the only time. I felt numb. I didn’t feel anything. As harsh as it may sound, I guess he didn’t really mean much to me. 

I have documented my children since they were born. I have photographed the everyday. The recogniseable and intimate moments that all parents witness. My project can be seen as coloured memories. As a visual diary. A way to pause the time to help me to respect the moment. To help me not to forget, as I have forgotten my own childhood memories with my father. Susan Sontag wrote: “All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.” This is my way to stop the clock and keep these moments alive.

The children in Heartbeats series could be any children. Heartbeats photographs could be from any family album. This childhood has happened countless times. The love for the children. Hugs, smiles, cries, fears, joys. Chaos, tiredness, happiness. The feeling of touching their hair. Their hearts beating so close it feels like mine.