For many, birthdays are viewed as a day of celebration. The celebration of making it through another year, the celebration of spending time with loved ones; birthdays are a celebration of you. We live in a society where birthdays are supposed to be happy, joyous occasions, but how are they perceived when you’re celebrating alone? Are birthdays still a time of festive celebrations when the loss of a loved one occurs?
Growing up, I considered myself to be a part of a small family. While I have more cousins, aunts, and uncles than I can count, I’ve always considered my dad, my mom, and me to be what was most significant. Two months before my 5th birthday, my mother passed away. While this loss didn’t happen on the day of my birthday, it changed the way I experience birthdays. Birthdays are now the days where I wonder most how different my life would be if my mom were still here.
“Nowhere To Be Found” is a series motivated by my outlook towards birthdays as I age. These images are inspired by past birthday experiences I’ve had, while also being influenced by the feelings of losing my mother. By mixing elements of chaos and control, I explore bittersweet nostalgia while also creating an overwhelming sense that something or someone is missing.