Bounds of Inheritance
This project depicts a search for wholeness by giving voice to what is hidden and lost particularly within a family lineage. Bounds of Inheritance addresses my own family's intergenerational legacy of trauma, exploring themes of love, grief, loss, betrayal, and paradox. It is also about the spiritual connection we have with the invisible forces of life involving our dreams and connections with our ancestors. It is centered on the idea that by seeking and knowing the truth, we can dismantle the invisible inheritances that keep us bound in darkness.
In 2004 my aunt revealed to me that her father (my grandfather) had sexually abused her as a young teenager, a secret she held for most of her life. The truth of this was traumatic and difficult to digest. He had always been a beloved grandfather to me and my siblings, and this was a side of him that our family never saw or suspected. He presented as a man of dignity and integrity even in the way he dressed, always walking with a proud posture and wearing a fedora hat. As his posthumous shadow emerged our family grappled with this paradox.
Other stories emerged and I began to see a pattern and develop a concern for unconscious or invisible intergenerational legacies repeating themselves. Bounds of Inheritance is a visual reflection not only of my aunt's story, but also of other women in our family. It became evident during our interviews and time together, that these were family members of fortitude and courage, whose stories and voices are heard and made visible in part by this project. By illuminating these struggles with compassion, our family connections are deepening, helping us to grow in strength and solidarity with one another. I open the door to the truth about our dark family history not to disparage or shame anyone, but in an effort to contribute towards the healing and catharsis of our past, present and future generations.