Being inside looking out, chain-link fences, bars and blocked passages, these are all part of a recurrent theme in my mother’s photographs.
From her writings she exclaims about her rights being taken away. On top of many pages she writes “Constitution Laws,” “We the People,” “Natural Laws,” and “Motherhood.” In this country which prides itself on freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, my mother wondered why these were taken away from her. Her property, her home, her social security and her personal liberties were stolen from her. My mother was one of the faceless homeless for many years.
She tried to analyze the laws as an attorney and a judge. There are letters she has written to various governmental agencies pleading with them to find her pension, her social security checks, her retirement funds. She tells them that she is a Mother, an attorney, a teacher, a professor, a poetess, a writer, an artist, and requests quite politely, “can you help me please?”
Many of her photographs are taken from the perspective of being behind bars, locked out and walled off. Is she being restrained from finding out what happened? Or is this something more about her mental state and seeing herself separated from “We the People”?
I feel that these photographs are a commentary on
the state of our society when dealing with people who are different, who have a mental illness. Are these people being locked out of our communities based on mis-perceptions and stereotypical assumptions of their capabilities?