Markers: Memory

We all have memories of growing up and I was lucky to have done so in the woods of a college town. After selling our home on the South Shore of Massachusetts, our family moved to Amherst so my father could study civil engineering when I was seven years old. Here, I was neither a “townie” nor or a professor’s kid and thus existed somewhere in between. Just outside of our apartment complex, we were allowed to roam freely: down the dirt road, up the hill, into the swamp, or around the cemetery. After weathering some tough times in later adolescence and high school, I moved to Boston to attend art school. I later took up an ambitious project dealing with place and history: photographing the 40th parallel of latitude across the US at every whole degree of longitude. This series, however, is based much closer to home and involves a different kind of location-based system—that of my childhood memories.

For “Markers: Memory,” I returned to my hometown and explored places with certain keen childhood memories, considering the changes in the world and myself. Sometimes, the places were entirely changed; other times, they were remarkably the same. There are many markers and memorials on the land that delineate time and place, but these images use simple “life markers”: the spot where I caught my first fish, the woods where I first heard the word “hump,” the field where I got my first and last hit in little league, etc. Most are fairly benign memories, but some are bittersweet while others suggest regret. As a result of this endeavor, new memories were created and then overlaid onto older ones. Although the locations and memories are subjective, the feelings they conjure up I hope are fairly universal.