At the Mouth of the Well carries out a narrative based on life, love, death, and the after. This work examines the momentary relationship between a young girl adopted from Russia at the age of four and her adoptive father, who passed away in a tragic accident just four years later. The images in this work record a journey that is central to her rebuilding of a relationship with her father and her understanding of how he lived. This journey follows one single photograph of her father taken on a trip twenty years before she was adopted but has become a part of the identity of her father that she is still yearning to learn about.
In addition, At the Mouth of the Well utilizes documents from a pre-existing archive of material mixing past and present information to provide the audience with the resources necessary to piece the narrative together. The materials used represent various moments in time, some vital to the formation of the narrative and some additional information that upon further investigation brings to light other important aspects of the on-going history of this young girl.
While photographs are at the heart of this work, from the photograph creating the journey to the documentary images that build the story, they are complemented and informed by the documents that become the backbone of the narrative. A map, a birth certificate, newspaper clippings, and children’s drawings, among many other types of objects, were stored and archived for many years but have only recently been discovered as this work unfolded.
Beyond the installation of photographs and archival documents, this work also takes life in book form to create a more intimate setting in which to view the work and see it unfold. Various types of paper, sizes, and designs are utilized to further enhance the viewers understanding of the importance of materiality throughout this work. The book leaves the door open for further discovery as this narrative is continually evolving.