Location: Durham, North Carolina, United States
For my series Mother Pearl, I explore notions of the naturally impossible, but imaginatively possible. This body of work presents imagery reflecting the imaginary relationship between my deceased paternal grandmother and I. Given that she transitioned long before my birth, there was and will be no opportunity for her and I to meet in the physical, however, I do feel a strong connection to her, and in this work I have portrayed through imagery this closeness.
Utilizing the process of collage, I combine found imagery and personal objects all belonging to my grandmother with imagery of myself and various elements to artistically and conceptually present what my understanding is of a woman I’ve never known. With this technique, I scan the printed photographs and photograph each relic, digitally combining them with handwritten letters, clippings of lace fabric, and other imagery all placed on a circular surface, representative of the shape of a pearl, which is the meaning of Margaret, my grandmother’s name. The combination of imagery that appears desaturated and in full color represents the longing to merge two different worlds and periods of time together, those being my grandmother’s and mine. Through this series, I aim to address the wonder of narrative, as well as how photography has stretched the ability to not only conceive happenings of the past or present, but what could possibly be.
Website brianna dowd.com