María del Mar Hernández Gil de Lamadrid
2020 - Ongoing
In the series "Nos veremos pronto", I explore a selection of my mother's letters wherein she narrates her personal experience living in Puerto Rico, before and after the Hurricane Maria. Collecting and preserving her letters for four years since moving away from home, I compiled her words highlighting her living experience on the island: the feeling of absence, the sense of yearning of one's beloved to come back, adjusting to numerous new realities, the sudden tremors and the fears she felt. Since the beginning of 2020, I re-read her letters for comfort during this difficult time, without hopes to return home due to fear of exposing her and myself from the COVID-19 virus. I became interested in how I could use photography's role as memory and preservation, the use of archival imagery, and text, to visually engage with her presence within her absence. This work is a response to the recipient - my mother - and serves as an outlet to express words and realities never said, memories and places we last experienced, as means to connect with home and filling the void of her presence. Ultimately, my work seeks to unearth the weight of her stories through archival imagery and a landscape, a place where we last saw each other, and my body to address questions of belonging.