“The Grandparents Project”
On display May 3 – July 2, 2017
Opening reception on May 5 (6-9pm) during First Fridays in Grand Center
Jeannie Liautaud: The Grandparents Project
Photography is exploration. We make images to preserve our discoveries in new territories, whether physical, intellectual, or psychological. The very first images, because of the length of their exposures, were explorations into time and the passage of it, while the most common pictures made today, those we post to social media, are journeys of self-discovery and self-celebration. In this way, photography is also an investigation; the still images that we leave behind us, whether electronic or in print, offer distinct evidence about who we are for those seeking to learn who we were.
For artist Jeannie Liautaud, the subject for her photographic series The Grandparents Project came about through a personal exploration into the essence of her own grandmother, who passed away in 2013. Liautaud had made images of her, but wanted to honor her memory further. She wanted to create a testament to what it means to age and still be vital; to grow old but to remain steadfastly kind, amiable and tenacious.
Noted author and photographer Eudora Welty once wrote, “My continuing passion, would be not to point the finger in judgment but to part the curtain, that invisible shadow that falls between people, the veil of indifference to each other’s presence, each other’s wonder, each other’s human plight.” This seems akin to what Liautaud has said of her own work, “The portraits aren’t meant to be revelatory, they’re meant to be sincere.” Indeed they are. Jeannie began the series to look for the glimmer of the grandmother that she knew and loved in others like her, but what she found is heartfelt and relatable to us all: a grouping of elderly men and women, all sharing the commonality of being grandparents, yet each unique and vibrant in their own way.
Curator, Jason Gray
Photographer’s note: The Grandparents Project is dedicated in loving memory of Norma Jeanne Rogers