What I see when I look over my shoulder.
The past is a place half recognizable, half not. My father became a more brilliant story-teller as he got older and his memory made gaps, which he was free to fill in as he wished. I hated it. I wanted facts, true history, documentary evidence. I'm older now. The past looks like a fairy tale, where dreams masquerade as memories, and history is another form of invention. There is documentary evidence in these pictures, but I can't see what is directly behind me. I can only glance sidelong, over each shoulder, with one eye and then another.
The composite images of Another Country were made between 2013 and 2014. The interiors were shot in a family house I’d known for fifty years; the landscapes are from a place that holds my earliest memories. These were taken between 2010 and 2012 . After that I couldn’t go there anymore.
A sequel to Another Country, this time in color, can be found at CAN’T GET THERE FROM HERE
© Ariel Swartley