An American Family

Birdcage

 

Photographer Jo Ann Chaus is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this photo essay.  From the project ‘Sweetie & Hansom’.  To see Jo Ann’s body of work, click on any photograph.

 

Laundress

 

Conversation

 

Morning News

 

This body of work was made over the seven-year period, 2008-2015.  With my parents in their late seventies I felt an urgency to know what was behind each of their cool facades, to know who they were as people.  I visited them frequently at their home in Boca Raton, Florida, along with my brother who lived in a place of his own nearby.  The camera allowed me to be with them more easily; it was a kind of shield.  When my brother passed suddenly in 2013, ultimately from the substance abuse that had plagued him most of his adult life we were shocked and shaken; I continued to make the work in this collection for another two years.  The narrative is of my family, coping with years of silence, grief, shame, aging, secrets held and that ultimate loss, but it is a story of many American families, a story of our times.

 

Splayed

 

Dropped Call

 

Back To Bed

 

Pink Cup

 

Recycle

 

The images here are a selection from a larger body of work that lives as a self-published book by the same name, along with twelve pages of original text, published in 2017.

 

All images © Jo Ann Chaus

 

 

See also:

The Other Side or Hazel

By Jo Ann Chaus

 

 

 

 

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