The relationship between mother and daughter is complex. My relationship with my own mother has been complicated, and we’ve struggled to understand one another. In an attempt to bridge the gap between us, I started to take an interest in exploring my mother and grandmother’s old photos, diaries, and scrapbooks. As I gained a sense of their history and memories, I began to see my mom as her own person with flaws, dreams, and insecurities just like mine. I discovered the power of personal archives as a tool for empathy.
Before I moved away from home, my mom made me a quilt out of my childhood t-shirts. Traditionally feminine methods of record-keeping like quilting and scrapbooking are practices that the women in my family have been able to sustain and pass on to their children. This project is a way for me to give back to my mom what she had once given me.
Someday When I’m Older is a quilt that intertwines the memories of three generations of women: my grandmother, my mother, and me. It is a collection of photographs, physical objects, and writing that showcases how we have each documented our memories. Each square of the quilt is printed using cyanotype, a time-based photographic printing process that utilizes the sun to produce an image. In a way, it’s like taking a photo of a photo, and by reprinting these existing objects I’m creating a new interpretation of the archives my family has kept.
“But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begins.”
― Mitch Albom, For One More Day