Pictures of pictures / Family

As some may have noticed on this blog, I often photograph photographs or other types of two dimensional imagery. I find that this coincides with my memory of the subject’s recontexualised existence, and moreover the stories and associations that the initial image is trying to sustain. I see this as another layer of interpretation, albeit influenced and possibly distorted. These were taken with my cell phone, as it was the only method of image-capturing I had at the time.

The above three photographs were taken in my grandparents’ house in Connecticut. Over the past 5 years or so I have seen their lives drastically change due to health issues, and with that change comes new ways of perceiving their self-contained world and how various relics of another time recede into physical and metaphorical shadows, rearranged and lost on shelves, staggered amongst related ephemera, partially boxed away and occasionally emerging with a proper rustling.

The first image is believed to be of a small structure which was being built next to the pond behind the house in which my father was raised, now called “The Separatist House”, as it was on Separatist Road, in Storrs, Connecticut. There are some issues identifying this photograph …

The second one is of a quail named Robert. He is pictured here walking through a crèche. The photograph is from the mid-’60s, most likely. The story of Robert is an interesting one. This quail was found by a friend of Margaret Stanger, a lady who played scrabble with my father’s grandmother, “Nanny”. Margaret’s friend found the quail egg seemingly abandoned and in dire need of care, and brought it back to her house. She placed it under a heat lamp, and it eventually hatched. Robert was born, and lived for many years. His life apparently inspired Margaret, as she went on to write a children’s book about him. It’s called That Quail, Robert, and has gone through a number of editions over the years.

The third one is a painting my grandfather did of a house located on Cape Cod, in which Nanny lived. This was before she moved into a house with her sister Margery, across from Lake Farm, on Monument Road, also on the Cape. Lake Farm was a children’s camp which Margery ran. It was a fantastic camp, with Nubian goats, multiple buildings for various activities and a sandy path trailing through a forest which led to Crystal Lake. The camp continued for quite a while even as Margery got older.

This picture was found online, from a site called Bird Watcher’s General Store.
An image of one of the book’s primary editions can be seen here.


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