“Within These Walls”, reflects on the effects of feeling disconnected or alienated from family and friends while living in a nursing home. By capturing the remnants of the human presence reflected in each subject matter left behind within the interior of nursing homes, the viewer can reflect on the emotion each image expresses, the pain of being alone as an elderly person living in a nursing home.
In many cultures outside of the United States, the young have often taken care of the old and frail for many years. Perhaps, at one point Americans were able to care for their loved ones as they aged. Unfortunately, as time has passed Americans have become more and more involved in busier lifestyles. We can look toward advancement of technology and the ever-growing borderless world where one can choose to live anywhere in the world, which in turns creates jobs miles away from home and away from our aging mothers, fathers, grandparents, and everyone we hold dear.
Nursing homes have been around since the early nineteen hundreds, solely designated for the elderly population after family members were unable to care for them and for those who had the financial resources to be placed in such a home. Nursing homes should be a home away from home, a place to heal from a temporary illness. Unfortunately, they are referred to as sterile and not home like, a place of sadness and loneliness.
Illnesses triggered by loneliness has resulted in about 43% of the adults reporting feeling lonely at least some of the time. Research further indicates seniors feeling lonely have a 59% greater risk of mental and physical decline. “Within These Walls” aims is to bring awareness to these staggering numbers of aging adults that are suffering from loneliness and isolation. By encouraging families to reconnect and take the time to visit their loved ones with the hope of reducing the mortality rate and improving the quality of life they are experiencing while living in a nursing home.
Throughout most of my life I have been witness to many life changes, I think we all do, some have been good others not so good. I’ve relocated from Panama to New York City at the age of 9, I married at age 17, I gave birth to three sons, divorced, loss of my father, and now in a desperation to complete my MFA in Photography. These life changes create a road map to who I am today. A road map that sometimes require some containment/ barriers. And, in order for my strive to continue these barrier allow me to set aside some of the less happy moments in order to continue moving forward. I’ve created fences, not full walls, fences are just tall enough to keep those inner feelings contained and room for looking in or looking back. Fences is a Fine Art linguistic-based self-portrait series aimed to explore these most inner secrets and how one is able to compartmentalize ones life. The literal subject matter will range from modern to old almost torn down fences. The scenes will be presented in a leveled way, primarily centered and isolated, in order to create an atmosphere of comfortable realignment.
Xerox image transfer using a blender pen onto cold press paper. Coated with clear bees and yellow tone wax.