Portrait of my mother
Project info

Portrait of my mother
2006

In August 2006 my mother in Germany was diagnosed with terminal cancer. As soon as I could I flew over to be with her. From the day of my arrival in Germany she had six more weeks to live which we spent together.
She always had been an avid reader and literature played an important part in both of our lives. I had previously often thought about a project involving her library and I soon embarked on the idea to photograph all her books, one after the other in one long row. It quickly became our joint project.
At first it made us talk about individual authors and about literature in general but towards her end she could only recognize the objects and family photos I placed amongst the books. While her life was coming to an end the row of books grew and grew. I photographed at night and during the day assembled the pictures on the computer at her bedside as she wanted me to continue with 'our' project until her last moment. After her death I finished the series until all her books were photographed in 'her' order.
The resulting work shows an eclectic cross section of literature. But more than that it has become a manifestation of the woman she was, a metaphor for life and a diary of the time I spent with her - a portrait of my mother.

Each individual image is sized 30 x 35 cm and the series consists of 93 images displayed in one long row of 29 meters.