Recently, I stumbled upon British photographer Kirsty Mitchell’s loving and haunting tribute to her mother, a school teacher who passed away of cancer in France in 2009.
Mitchell created the following works of art as a tribute to her mother’s memory. The photographs were made from a stringent budget.
They are reflective of how, perhaps as human beings, our need to engage in the other worldly, to the supernatural, is a means of finding our own catharsis during the losses we face every day.
Mitchell is incredibly refreshing for me. In a world where documenting our sorrows has become stale, Mitchell provides the ever elusive but wonderful reminder of our accomplishments of digital mastering and sharing in the Millennial age can be productive, where we are encouraged to connect through digital networks in an age which often blinded by over sharing on social media, and not enough in life. In our weeks of traveling through some European capitals, my mother and I were cognizant that photographic evidence has become the customary means of exercising cultural capital, in exercising the experience of our modernity, and our very existence itself.
These photographs allow our minds t0 flitter across digitally crunched and synthesized snapshots, vignettes of life, which are constantly shifting, and shifting while we travel through time and space in our minds, on the computers, with our iPads, on iTunes and with Youtube videos luring us for distractions, Buzzfeed for humor, Memecenter for easily shared and sarcastic wisdoms, that are already synthesized and packaged into the parameters allowed us by social media, which we synthesise before we move on, to makes us purists or saturates our understandings of life and style? Is it when we see something new, something which hasn’t been normalized? Like the way jazz would have appeared to the unsharpened ear, but with enough positive documentation, was heightened, was revered.
Why? Because she does not need to resort to multimillion dollar productions in order to create beauty, and because she is revisiting previous landscapes with a fresh perspective. In doing thus, she embodies what every artist should attempt in their own voyage towards understanding, what Marcel Proust tells us is the ultimate key to knowledge, when he says:
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
In order to create new art, in filming and videoing what has been filmed and videoed and painted throughout time, Mitchell breaks the rules, and she is able to achieve this feat precisely through the new lenses she lends, to her surrounding landscape.