The portrait project, “The Family Portrait (Dad)” is part of an ongoing project about my family. These images explore the relationship with my father in an attempt to understand him on a deeper level.
Research shows that many fathers are absent, either emotionally or physically from their daughters’ lives. One of the main reasons is that many absentee fathers have not been taught how to express their softer side and feel comfortable with more tender feelings.
After 10 years of living abroad, I returned home to reconnect with my father. These images are a result of several visits home over 2010-2012. I found the camera was a great excuse to spend time together. It was like a magical device helping to overcome awkwardness, allowing a blatant stare or accurate investigation.
This project is twofold: it is touching on aspects of reconnection and wonderment whilst simultaneously reflecting on the medium of photography with its unique ability to get closer to the subject, to examine, scrutinize or just wander around the surface.
The project deals with the question of the essence of a photographic portrait. How much (if anything) of the person is it possible to identify and show through camera’s eye; what cannot be revealed?
Above all, “The Family Portrait (Dad)” is a record of few precious moments. It is a sketch of a man whose humble and content life fills me with wonder but also inspiration.