This documentary photography was submitted to Edge of Humanity Magazine by Documentary Photographer Tui Sigman
From project “Ashby Care Center by Tui Sigman.
Click on any image to see Tui’s documentary & travel photography.
Ageing and mortality are some of the universal issues that we all inevitably face as humans. In the two years I spent documenting the life of the seniors at Ashby Care Center, California, I learnt that most people residing here were not in a physical, mental or emotional state to live independently, hence were either abandoned by their near and dear or just had no body else.
This photographic project explores the mental, emotional and physical states of the ageing individual living a sedentary lifestyle, in a sterile environment separated from family and friends. In the process I was connected to them on a personal level, as I shared in their daily wins and losses, from the long awaited phone call or visit that never came to that first step after a debilitating stroke, or from witnessing the joy of a long lost lover whose visit co-incided with a rare lucid moment of recognition in the eyes of a woman he once loved now lost to Alzheimer’s disease, to the saddening shock of walking into a quiet room with an empty bed with the occupant having suddenly passed on.
These photographs bear witness to the changes in the lives of the people I photographed. Spending time with the seniors as they walked down memory lane enlivened my perception of them in their youth, having lived full lives. This aspect revealed to me an unseen past leading into the present as it unfolded into an unknown future, in relation to the passage of time and how we perceive our lives when most of it is behind us. And through all these changes and phases of life, an immutable thread ‘our sense of self’, stays with us and connects us to who we once were and to who we have become today.