Documenting My Father’s Last Days

Bed, 2009

 

Photographer Lynne Bowman Cravens is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography.  These images are from her project ‘1000 Paper Cranes‘.  To see Lynne’s body of work click on any image.

 

Alarm Clock, 2009

Alarm Clock, 2009

 

Bear, 2009

Bear, 2009

 

Chair, 2010

Chair, 2010

 

In “1,000 Paper Cranes for Bruce Bowman“, I recorded memories and experiences of my father through the use of paper cranes and photography. As a child I was interested in the fable of the thousand paper cranes and found comfort in folding them. When my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2009, I began to fold. I knew there was nothing I could do medically for his health, folding was the only way I could feel productive during his treatment. Soon after I started folding the cranes, I began to photograph them using my father’s 35mm Olympus camera in locations that sparked memories of him. The density of the cranes in each setting change based on the intensity of the memory being represented. Towards the end of my father’s life, I realized those moments with him would be the last ones I would experience; so I began to photograph them. I continued this process through his funeral.

 

Bruce Bowman, 2010

Bruce Bowman, 2010

 

Work Bench, 2011

Work Bench, 2011

 

Wagon, 2011

Wagon, 2011

 

Tree, 2011

Tree, 2011

 

Wood, 2011

Wood, 2011

 

While the images of the end of my father’s life differ from the images with the cranes, they go hand in hand. They are all images that represent my life with my father and the experiences we shared together, from my earliest memories of him to the very end of our time together. The progression through the images from the documentation of his last days, to the recreated memories, to the paper cranes themselves represents our relationship through time. It began with the two of us and now the only things left are my memories; and after I am gone there will only be the cranes themselves.

 

Hospital, 2010

Hospital, 2010

 

IV, 2010

IV, 2010

 

Dodie Bowman, 2010

Dodie Bowman, 2010

 

Mom, Dad, and Brady, 2010

Mom, Dad, and Brady, 2010

 

Brady Bowman, 2010

Brady Bowman, 2010

 

Hand In Hand, 2010

Hand In Hand, 2010

 

Tim, 2010

Tim, 2010

 

Casket, 2010

Casket, 2010

 

Mother and Wife, 2010

Mother and Wife, 2010

 

Sand, 2010

Sand, 2010

 

Flowers, 2010

Flowers, 2010

 

Son, 2010

Son, 2010

 

22_cravens_graveside

Graveside, 2010

 

See also:

Our Worst Years

By Lynne Bowman Cravens

 


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