Hannah Hughes

I lost my father when I was twelve years old. In April of 2001, he was diagnosed with leukemia. After undergoing treatment he died in October of the same year. Nine years later, my childhood has drawn to a close and the memories I have of him are fading with age. I took on this project as an opportunity to explore the depths and shallows of memory though photography, attempting to construct an image of a person vanishing into the distance of the past.

My aim was to come to a mature understanding of who my father really was, including the flaws that made him human. To do so I explore both the physical and emotional remnants of his life, the story among the remains. This was a way for me to spend a little more time with my dad. Beyond personal motivations lay artistic ones. I have always been interested in the complex relationship between photography and memory - both in the medium's ability to recall memory as well as in its failure to hold emotional truth. Photography has a unique capacity to render and preserve a moment in time, which makes the medium an often-used tool in reinforcing fading memory. However, this project has also brought to light photography's limitation in describing absence. It was these constraints that led me to explore the presentation of memory though other forms of expression - video, drawings, bookmaking, film still appropriation. I took on the aesthetic challenge of creating a body of work about an absence, images about someone no longer visible.

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