My work is deeply rooted in my family history. After the death of my mother when I was twelve years old, I became increasingly curious about notions of family, memory, and mortality.

I was raised by my father: an avid hunter, archery champion, and former hunting guide, whose collection of taxidermy trophies began to grow exponentially that same year that I turned twelve.

Growing up amidst the hunting culture of northern Michigan, I learned to see the ritual of hunting as a way for humans to connect with and conquer untamed nature; it is a ritual that speaks to notions of mortality and the interconnectedness of life within a larger system.

—Claire Benson

Editor's Note: The first image in this series was awarded First Prize in the 
Single Image Category at the LensCulture Portrait Awards 2014.

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