© 2020 Jenny Owens

Memories of Trees, 2018, piece made up of 12 digital photographs in colour on paper. 54 cm x 6,5 cm. 

Memories of Trees is a collection of fragments of photographs belonging to my great aunt. When I was given her photo albums, the trees were the things most photographed. It was her way of seeing the world. The tree is a symbol of how I understand memory. For me, a memory has to do with both the present and the past.  Most of the trees we see in landscapes today come from the past. They have been in landscapes for many years. Maybe they have been seen by many generations of our ancestors but at the same time they are part of the present because they are still alive and are seen by us today.

 

I decided to take colour photographs of the original photographs from the albums. The original photographs are in black and white but the digital ones are in colour. I wanted to show how the photographs have been affected by the passage of time. However, at the same time, the exercise of looking for the passage of time of the old images in the new images is an impossible exercise. You do not see the original images, but an image of them. The light that was shining when I took the digital photographs of the original photographs will have affected the tone of the new image. The type of printing and the type of paper used to create the new images also modified the final result of these images, creating reconstructions that are far removed from the original images. The new images do not contain much useful information to identify the age of the photograph such as its smell or shape (whether they curve or not). The smell is the first thing I noticed when I opened my box of old photographs. The original photographs are objects. The digital photographs printed together on paper also form an object, but it is a different type of object. 

The way I have put the images together is inspired by old, small postcards. This is another object of the past. I like the format because you can fold them and carry them in your pocket. They are more intimate. These postcards are hard to find now. 

With this work I hope the viewer is inspired to think about how other people´s ways of seeing are captured in the images they take and to think of the predominant fragments in their own family albums to understand more about the people who took the photographs and to be closer to them in some way even if they are no longer alive. 

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