Exhibitions

NORTH: FASHIONING IDENTITY

14 September - 21 December 2019

Exhibitions Future Exhibitions

Peer to Peer

17 October - 22 December 2019

Exhibitions

SIXTEEN at Ellesmere Port Library

19 September - 27 September 2019

Events

WE ARE KIRKBY

19 September 2019

Future Exhibitions

WE ARE KIRKBY

23 September - 16 November 2019

LOOK Events Events

Launch: LOOK Photo Biennial 2019

17 October - 17 October 2019

LOOK Events Events

OPENING: DISTINCTLY

27 September - 27 September 2019

Events

OPEN SOURCE IN CONVERSATION: NATHAN CUTLER

26 September - 26 September 2019

Exhibitions

DIGITAL WINDOW GALLERY: OPEN SOURCE 11 – NATHAN CUTLER

1 September - 30 September 2019

Events

COAST TO COAST TO COAST

14 September - 14 September 2019

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

DIGITAL WINDOW GALLERY: OPEN SOURCE 10 – JOCELYN ALLEN

1 August - 31 August 2019

Exhibitions

A Portrait Of…

2 August - 29 September 2019

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

DIGITAL WINDOW GALLERY: OPEN SOURCE 09 – ARABELLE ZHUANG

1 July - 31 July 2019

Past Exhibitions

Close Attention

11 July - 21 July 2019

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

New York Scene/Unseen: Keith Haring and Friends

14 June - 7 July 2019

Past Exhibitions

DIGITAL WINDOW GALLERY: OPEN SOURCE 08 – DENISA N. MOLNAR

1 June - 30 June 2019

Exhibitions

DIGITAL WINDOW GALLERY: TRANSFORMATIVE MOMENTS – STEPHANIE WYNNE

1 April - 7 July 2019

Past Exhibitions

DIGITAL WINDOW GALLERY: OPEN SOURCE 07 – MARIE SMITH

1 May - 31 May 2019

Projects

VR — Wake Up Together (Ren Hang & Where Love is Illegal)

23 April 2019

Main Exhibition

Belonging: Students of Whitby High School

18 April - 28 April 2019

Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

DIGITAL WINDOW GALLERY: OPEN SOURCE 06 – MARIA ANSELL

1 April - 30 April 2019

Past Exhibitions

DIGITAL WINDOW GALLERY: OPEN SOURCE 05 – ELIZABETH GLEAVE

1 March - 31 March 2019

Past Exhibitions

DIGITAL WINDOW GALLERY: OPEN SOURCE 04 – LEIA MORRISON

1 February - 28 February 2019

Past Exhibitions

Here And Now

19 February - 23 February 2019

Exhibitions

PAULINE ROWE & DAVE LOCKWOOD – THE ALLOTMENTS

29 August - 28 September 2019

Exhibitions

TABITHA JUSSA & JOHN DAVIES – CAN’T SEE THE WOOD FOR THE TREES

6 June - 4 July 2019

Exhibitions

Stephanie Wynne and Stephen McCoy — Triangulation

18 July - 24 August 2019

Exhibitions

Yan Wang Preston — Forest

6 June - 28 September 2019

Exhibitions

LIZ HINGLEY – SHANGHAI SACRED

6 June - 25 September 2019

Main Exhibition

Kinship

9 May - 7 July 2019

Past Exhibitions

DIGITAL WINDOW GALLERY: OPEN SOURCE 03 – OLLIE HAYWARD

1 January - 31 January 2019

Past Exhibitions

DIGITAL WINDOW GALLERY: OPEN SOURCE 02 – RACHEL GLASS

1 December - 31 December 2018

Projects Exhibitions

209 Women

28 February - 14 April 2019

Past Exhibitions

DIGITAL WINDOW GALLERY: OPEN SOURCE 01 – HEATHER GLAZZARD

1 November - 30 November 2018

Projects Culture Shifts

Where Things are Different

15 August 2017

Past Exhibitions

She Dreams – Yan Wang Preston

24 September - 10 February 2018

Past Exhibitions

Wake Up Together

15 November - 17 February 2019

Exhibitions

DISTINCTLY

27 September - 24 November 2019

Projects

209 Women Crowdfunder

6 September - 17 October 2018

Past Exhibitions

XU ZHEN: OPTIMIZING

13 July - 7 September 2018

Past Exhibitions

HIDDEN WORLDS

14 July - 16 July 2018

Past Exhibitions

New Brighton Revisited

14 July - 25 August 2018

Exhibitions

SEEING FUTURES: HUGH BAIRD PHOTOGRAPHY UNDERGRADUATES & ALUMNI

29 June 2018

Past Exhibitions

‘ELLESMERE PORT’ WHITBY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT EXHIBITION

22 June 2018

Past Exhibitions

Liverpool Biennial 2018: Beautiful World Where Are You?

14 July - 28 October 2018

Past Exhibitions

China Conversation

17 June 2018

Projects

MA Course Brief

1 September 2018

Main Exhibition

Our North

28 March - 30 March 2018

Past Exhibitions

Snapshot to WeChat: A Migration of Identity

6 April 2018

Exhibitions Main Exhibition

The Pier Head – Tom Wood

12 January - 25 March 2018

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Threshold, from 'Still Here', Lydia Goldblatt
Untitled, from 'Still Here', Lydia Goldblatt

‘Still Here’ is an odyssey of love, loss and remembrance, as a daughter comes to terms with her father’s dementia diagnosis. Through the looking glass of her camera lens, Goldblatt reconnects with her ailing father and finds some semblance of the man he once was. A man who was drifting away from her in mind and body. She filled his last moments with a sense of purpose and a reason to re-engage with the outside world. The photos, which span three years, are an exploration into the human condition as they chronicle the changes her father’s health brings on her family, as they deal with their grief, feelings of loss and the inevitability of their own mortality.

In Spent Time, the white void surrounding a watch tells of the impossibility of time. A single timepiece lies alone in a vacant room. The photo encourages us to contemplate the significance of time when there is an end approaching. The crushing weight of a deadline when the end is within our sight. After all, forever is a very hard word for the human mind to conceive, let alone understand. These feelings of helplessness and confusion are feelings we have all felt after the loss of a loved one. Goldblatt’s book is most successful in its relatability due to these universally human notions of love and loss which it portrays.

In Threshold, warm light seeping from a single window speaks of the celestial hearth, homecoming, a safe place to be with family. Amidst the darkness we can see the beckoning light of sanctuary, where her father’s slumped figure can be seen through a window. Goldblatt captures an image, which tells of safety, a warm place of love and comfort that she associates with the father she dearly wants to hold on to. Goldblatt’s photos are not clinical or detached. Their simplicity imbues them with a fragile beauty as she plays with light and shadow to frame her subject. 

‘Still Here’ deeply resonated with me as my granny passed a year ago this June following her battle with her own dementia diagnosis. Dementia is a disease which isolates the mind of those it inflicts, not just from their loved ones but also from themselves. In Untitled, Goldblatt watches her father through the crack of a door. This physical barrier appears as a metaphor for the separation his condition has caused between them. She can now only see and communicate with part of the man he once was, never able to fully reach him, settling for a glimpse through the crack of a door. The series marks the transition from life to death, a fading existence. Her father appears outside of time, tittering on the edge of reality and dream as his condition pulls him further and further from his loved ones. Goldblatt uses her camera to draw the memory of him back to her. But ‘Still Here’ also offers us hope, hope that we can rediscover happiness in each other just as a father and daughter did. Through her camera Goldblatt captured small moments of clarity amid a sea of uneasiness and confusion. Her work, although sad and sometimes painful to view, is deeply moving and intimate. 

Goldblatt’s photos take on an ethereal quality after her father’s death as the artist deals with her own grief as well as the continuous aging of her mother. The photos hold a greater tenderness and vulnerability as we see her parent’s frail and aging body, exposed to the harshness of time. Window is one of my favourites from the book, which shows her mother standing in front of a window encompassed in warm, angelic light. I imagine her waiting there every morning, longing for her husband’s return. This highly personal and deeply moving collection of photos deal with raw and painfully human notions. ‘Still here’ is the last lament of a daughter and a farewell to a father who had in many ways been taken from his family long before his death.

‘Still Here’ can be purchased in the Open Eye Gallery’s independent shop for £25 and the series can be seen until Sunday 7th July as part of the KINSHIP exhibition.

 

(Photos discussed: Untitled, Threshold, Spent Time, Window)

 

Words by Cat McShane

Website: www.catmcshaneartworks.com

Still Here © Lydia Goldblatt, 2012

Lydia Goldblatt’s website: www.lydiagoldblatt.com

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