A Mariner's Descendant
A consuming fear of water, shared between myself and three subsequent generations of women came into question when I realized that I came from a strong lineage of mariners. For centuries, hundreds of matrilineal captains and sailors traveled the New England coasts, and though I spent more than 20 years 1300 miles away, I found myself instinctively returning to the same shores that my ancestors have known.
Only recently, after a death in the family, I was chosen as the inheritor of several familial documents. Boxes upon boxes of evidence became a link into my past. What was revealed, were dozens of men who were drowned or lost at sea, and the wives they left behind. I became interested in the relationship between my inherent fear, and their lived experiences, pulling from theories such as Jung’s Collective Unconscious and LaMark’s Soft Inheritance.
In these photographs I play the role of a mariner's wife, stepping in the shoes of the past by assuming a role so common among my ancestry. I use the landscape that was once shared by my predecessors to construct imagery in attempt to understand the ties between one's proclivities and their inherited past.
Salt Print Process, 8x10