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: firstname.lastname@example.org