He Was; I am, is a multipart on going artistic project by Kayla Story as part of her work completing an MFA program in studio art and photography. It all started with this picture, the only picture I have of my father, whom I have never met. This picture is something I have held onto through out countless moves even though I realized up until 2018 my feelings about this man were not something I had ever really discussed with others or addressed within myself as an adult. When I was 18 he made it clear to me, upon a surprise visit I made to his home, that he did not want anything to do with me. Through this project I am interested in the ways that his absence effected me as a person, how father absence similarly effects millions of others, and what those absences mean in our culture. 


So, I embarked upon this project as a way to research father politics in the US and commune with others about their own experiences without a father in order to give weight to absence. This work entails photographing volunteers with a large format film camera, to slow things down and focus on details, after having a conversation about their histories with an absent father. These photographs will work in conjunction with collected snapshots of absent fathers, similar to the one that I carried around for decades.  These images will be used to create prints/wallpaper that appears to be blank but upon further investigation shows the image of these fathers that were not present in their children's lives growing up. Some embossed text will likely be a part of the finished product of the project. 


Thank you so much for considering working with me on this project about a subject that means so much to me, and probably to you as well! The purpose of this survey is to collect different perspectives, stories, and thoughts about the impact of father absence to be used in art works about the same subject. The artist is also collecting images that anyone might have of fathers who were not, are not, or could not be in their children's lives, to reinterpret into prints/wallpaper similar to the second image on the slide show. If you would like to contribute an image please email a jpg file (up to 5mb and as close to 300dpi/ppi as possible) to: the@kaylastory.com

Last name not required if you would rather leave it off please put N/A in the last name field.
Have you met your biological father? *
When you were growing up without a father, did you feel that you were somehow different from other kids?
Would you be interested in a 30 minute portrait session and in person conversation with the artist? *
For participants in and around Madison or Milwaukee. Does require signing a model release form so the artist may use your image in her work. Examples of other participants are above.
Do you have a picture of your father? *
The artist is collecting snapshots of absent fathers to repurpose into reflective prints/wallpaper. This is to illustrate the lasting effects that fathers who do not or cannot be in our lives have in their absence. A sample is illustrated above. If yes, please email a good quality scan (1 mb or more when ever possible, or best available size) of the image to: the@kaylastory.com
I hereby give permission to the artist to use this information in the creation of art works, exhibitions, and publications in relation to those things. *
I, Kayla Story (the artist, as previously refered to) promise to be respectful of any and all information given to me via this form/project. I will never associate you or your information directly with any images used unless we have directly discussed this as an option during a portrait session.