How To Gather Elapsed Time
How can you gather together
the thousand fragments
of each person?
George Seferis, the Greek poet asks at the beginning of his poem, Lost Worlds. It is a question that cannot be answered. Some moments will be illuminated, and some will slip into darkness. This project describes my elderly parents who emigrated from Greece in 1960 to Australia. But that is not what I am documenting.
This body of work is my attempt to somehow respond to the poet’s question, as I photograph my parents in a time of vulnerability and isolation. My aim is to create a visual poem of their collective experience of ageing, the sense of loneliness that living apart at the start of the pandemic has meant. My father is now living in an aged care facility. Ageing in itself speaks about a segregation from society, a confinement of the mind and body, a slow withdrawal from life. As migrants, their life has always been about displacement.
The metaphoric images move between portraits, closeups, artefacts from the family home and abstract symbols. Memory does not follow a straight path, and similarly this story cannot be told in a linear structure (sequential) but rather the form I have chosen is circular (recurrent) to evoke a universal emotion of preparing for death.