Inheritance is often an involuntary affair: a room full of objects, an archive of documents and a perceived or real imperative to continue traditions started by others. I inherited 125 snapshots of Mount Rainier all taken by my mother, Amy Lee Davis. The photos were taken between 1935 and 2006 with film cameras: brownie to 35 mm. Over the course of the exhibition I translated the snapshots into embroidered silhouettes on handkerchiefs. Each stitch became a connection: this is where she stood, where she reached out to grasp what she wanted to hold forever.

Slowly the embroidered handkerchiefs accumulated. I didn’t achieve all 125 views, but my mother had 88 years to accomplish her obsession and as it turned out 88 is the number of handkerchiefs I completed when collection obsession closed. I will finish them: each one a story, a connection, her mountain, my mountain, my obsession now. 

collection obsession was part of wait, where am i, a collaborative storefront exhibition in Tacoma, WA from October 2010 to February 2011.

 

2010