This Is Not Your Family

“I try to walk the delicate balance between father and artist—yet no answers seem to be forthcoming. These photographs are a chance to examine the space between chaos and comfort…” Matt Eich

I’d like to think I’ve channelled Matt Eich’s timeless style throughout this project. His collection, This Is Not Your Family, is concerned with exploring ‘family dynamics, as well as notions of home and community…marked by a subtle air of unease’ (LensCulture, 2016). In an interview, he discusses his doubts surrounding the authenticity of the images which I found incredibly interesting. Looking at the images creates a nostalgic feeling where we are allowed an insight into Eich’s own family, despite the fact that many of the images feel posed or constructed.

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Holding Madelyn. Charlottesville, Virginia, 2016. Matt Eich.

‘Photographs only present what’s on the surface, they can’t show the entirety of someone’s character—but I’m trying to use the camera as a tool to get there as best I can.’

I find Eich’s philosophy incredibly intriguing. The idea that a photo cannot show the entirety of something is one which I have experienced numerous times throughout my work on Sense of Place; although the photos I have captured reveal certain things to the viewer, no-one can truly understand their subjective value, the people behind the photos, the stories and memories that exist within the page, except for me. I find this simultaneously fascinating and frustrating. I want my viewer to understand but, at the same time, I think there is such a beautiful fragility in being the only one holding all the cards.

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Dissolution. Charlottesville, Virginia, 2016. Matt Eich.

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