Lens-Based Artist and Educator Kristen Welles Bartley is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this photo essay. From the project ‘Flower Mound’. To see Kristen’s body of work, click on any image.
Flower Mound borrows its title from the suburban Texas town where I grew up. Over the course of
several years, I traveled back to this place from my home in Brooklyn after my father was diagnosed
with stage IV cancer. During each successive visit, I thought about how different things might be
the next time I returned. I became nostalgic for things that were not yet in the past. All these little
banal moments were suddenly so precious to me. I started to photograph as a way to hold on to
Once my father passed, I had yet to grieve or adjust to life without him when my mother was also
diagnosed with cancer. Hers was much more aggressive than my father’s and completely
unexpected. Watching her get sick and so swiftly exit my life was a shock. Again I reached for my
camera but this time around to help me cope with the trauma of losing my mother and the
immense weight of having to let go of all the people, places and things that were my first home.
In Flower Mound, I have weaved together all the photographs from this period of my life. This
process has cleared a path for me to grieve. It has helped me reflect and make sense of what
happened and also remember the love I had for these people and that place. Most importantly,
these pictures continue to be a reminder that within darkness, there is also light.
All images and text © Kristen Bartley
By Kristen Bartley
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