A Place Called Home
Since 2013, I have extensively photographed my grandparents’ home in Connecticut every time that I visited home. Before I graduated from high school, I was able to visit their home at least once a week, and even when I was in college I was still able to visit them at least once a month. Unfortunately, it was not until 2014 that I was not able to see them more than a few times per year. I originally started this project as an aesthetic study of my grandparents’ house because it has always been rare to find any part of their home that is not decorated in some unique way. However, in 2014 I re-evaluated the purpose of this project and realized that my focus on the decorations and design of the house were unimportant because right in front of my very eyes, I began to watch my once quick-witted, physically active, and social grandpa weakly disappear.
In the last few years of his life, my grandpa had been diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, hip problems, and macular degeneration, to name a few. Sadly, these issues made him hallucinate often, impaired his vision, forced him to rely on a cane, and ultimately become a person that he no longer enjoyed being. These health problems made my once active grandpa a slave to his own home. He could no longer drive a car, read a book, or hold a conversation. Some of his harsher hallucinations even caused him to believe that the giant decorative rabbits in the house were life-size and were attacking my grandma at night. However, throughout this time my grandma was doing mentally and fairly physically well, which frequently caused her to feel frustrated and upset since she was the ultimate caretaker of my grandpa.
In June 2016 my grandpa passed away peacefully in a nursing home causing this project to once again evolve as a tribute to his final years at home. I have decided to continue this project to show how my family still inhabits their childhood home even after my grandpa has left us. In addition, I wanted to portray the 60 year long relationship between my grandma, grandpa, their family, and their home because the place that seems to hold the most familial memories will always give them the most access to process their positive and negative thoughts.