Gabriela Herman

A few months ago, I featured a highly personal project by Gail Seely. Gail had been revisiting a difficult childhood, and in a way, reclaiming her childhood by examining artifacts that her mother had packed away decades before. After that post, Gabriela Herman wrote me that she had also created a body of work that was very similar without knowing about Gail’s work. Gabriela’s project, Holding On, captures objects that had meaning and significance from a happy childhood before they were lost to the transitions that come with the sale of the family home.

Gabriela’s series about bloggers, featured on Lenscratch in February, has gone “viral”– showcased and celebrated on blogs and in exhibitions, including 2011 Center Forward at the Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO and the Win Initiative, NY.

Holding On:In the fall of 2010, when my beloved childhood home abruptly sold, I was given a weekend to clear out the 25+ years of belongings that had remained largely untouched. It was pure chaos. Things were being thrown out the third floor window to the dumpster in the driveway below. No time for tears.

Amidst this insanity, I felt the need to capture some of these artifacts, an act which played out like revisiting my childhood in fast forward, frame by frame. The stuff that we accumulate, however valuable at the time, in fact ends up being just stuff, eventually all garbage bound. I had preserved the memories of the past through these objects, but once documented, their physical presence became unnecessary. It is through these images that the nostalgia remains, and I continue to hold on.

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