Satisfying to the Soul

Growing up in the south away from my extended family has been a significant influence on my work as a photographer. The distance is due to my father’s family still living in New York and Sicily, and my mother’s family in the Midwest. As a photographer I am inspired by environment, food, and culture. These things motivate me and I want others to see them from my perspective.

Satisfying to the Soul discusses the innate relationship between food and family.  In my household, food plays a major role in bringing people together and creating time spent in fellowship.  This stems from the lineage of both my Sicilian father, and Scandinavian heritage of my mother.  My paternal grandmother and other women in the family would spend hours preparing the meal for those gathered. My maternal grandmother, a baker by profession, would also cook for her family.

The differences and similarities on either side are apparent.  The combination of both, however, is subtle.  Upon immediate viewing of the installation, the viewer is merely aware of family history and its connection to food and mealtime. Upon closer examination, ancestral differences become apparent in the snapshot images, newspaper clippings and the written recipes and cooking notes.

Coffee pots and cups from different eras are displayed on a table to represent the family history. The framed digital ink jet images capture portraits of an old family coffee cup that symbolize my current circumstances and emotions dealing with the natural change over time in a family.  These emotions vary from loneliness to feeling nostalgic about mealtimes and family gatherings. This series has caused me to realize as I matured, I have become increasingly isolated from my both my extended and immediate family.