The most beautiful memory. Recollecting my father.

'When I was a child my father told me that there was a treasure hidden by dwarfs somewhere in our home, an old country estate that had during his childhood and youth harboured a cinema named The Unicorn, a ball room, a tavern, a farm and a family. The world he showed me was magic, limitless and full of adventures. Objects could be magic and I knew if I just believed it hard enough I could fly.'

When I was 8 my father died after a long illness. I have always wanted to reconnect.

This work is my recollecting of memories so it is in some ways also an 'ode to my father'.

My father, an engineer, did not only take photos of us, his family, but was also quite a good amateur photographer, passionate about capturing everything from flowers to scenes in exotic countries, from traditional village events to self-portraits.

When I rediscovered boxes of his diapositives I wanted to use them along my own images to

tell the story of my memories and to celebrate the lasting bond that we share by visualising it.

I hoped to create something beautiful and new together; we are having a visual conversation.

© Anne Ackermann - Image from the The most beautiful memory. Recollecting my father. photography project
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The nature we grow up in is our earliest world after the emotional world of our mothers, these places we know by heart before we know anything else.

© Anne Ackermann - Scans of diapositives of my mother and father from my dad's archive, ca. 1978
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Scans of diapositives of my mother and father from my dad's archive, ca. 1978

© Anne Ackermann - Diptych of my closed eye and a wooden boat hand made by my father. 2020
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Diptych of my closed eye and a wooden boat hand made by my father. 2020

© Anne Ackermann - Image from the The most beautiful memory. Recollecting my father. photography project
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The broken necklace. 2020. When I was a child my father told me that there was a treasure hidden by dwarfs somewhere in our home, an old country estate that had during his childhood and youth harboured a cinema named The Unicorn, a ball room, a tavern, a farm and a family. The world he showed me was magic, limitless and full of adventures. Objects could be magic and I knew if I just believed it hard enough I could fly

© Anne Ackermann - The Western Mountains. An image from my dad's archive taken during a trip through the USA, ca. 1974.
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The Western Mountains. An image from my dad's archive taken during a trip through the USA, ca. 1974.

© Anne Ackermann - Portrait of my grandfather, owner of the cinema 'The Unicorn' with film rolls and film projector. Date and origin unknown.
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Portrait of my grandfather, owner of the cinema 'The Unicorn' with film rolls and film projector. Date and origin unknown.

© Anne Ackermann - An image from my dad's archive taken during a trip through the USA, ca. 1974.
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An image from my dad's archive taken during a trip through the USA, ca. 1974.

© Anne Ackermann - An image from my dad's archive taken during a trip through Egypt, ca. 1973.
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An image from my dad's archive taken during a trip through Egypt, ca. 1973.

© Anne Ackermann - An image from my dad's archive taken during a trip through Egypt, ca. 1973.
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An image from my dad's archive taken during a trip through Egypt, ca. 1973.

© Anne Ackermann - A picture of me and my father taken during our family holiday in The Netherlands, 1988.
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A picture of me and my father taken during our family holiday in The Netherlands, 1988.

© Anne Ackermann - Image from the The most beautiful memory. Recollecting my father. photography project
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An image of our rented holiday home in The Netherlands from my dad's archive taken during our last family holiday, 1988: 'Before our summer holidays in The Netherlands in the summer of ‘88 Dad was released from the hospital as ‘cured’. He was acting strangely, wanting to sleep in a room alone, and was moody. His throat was still hurting.'

© Anne Ackermann - “Sick, weather-wise fresh, sunny and rainy. Runner bean laid.” -my father’s diary entry, summer 1988”
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“Sick, weather-wise fresh, sunny and rainy. Runner bean laid.” -my father’s diary entry, summer 1988”

© Anne Ackermann - Image from the The most beautiful memory. Recollecting my father. photography project
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Diptych of my a photo of my parents hugging from an unknown source and a picture taken by me of my mother's folded hands: 'The day after my Papa died at home and two days before my 9th birthday, my siblings and I wrote goodbye messages and placed them between his folded hands. In that moment it became clear to me that I would never read those words again, nor would I see or speak to my father again.'

© Anne Ackermann - An image from my dad's archive taken of the nearer surroundings of our village, ca. 1976.
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An image from my dad's archive taken of the nearer surroundings of our village, ca. 1976.

© Anne Ackermann - Diptych of a portrait of my mother and a broken tree in the garden of my parental home. 2020.
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Diptych of a portrait of my mother and a broken tree in the garden of my parental home. 2020.

© Anne Ackermann - Diptych of a picture of a forest that decorated my father's room in his youth and my mother's eye. 2020.
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Diptych of a picture of a forest that decorated my father's room in his youth and my mother's eye. 2020.

© Anne Ackermann - Diptych of an image of a flower from my dad's archive and my mom in her garden.2020.
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Diptych of an image of a flower from my dad's archive and my mom in her garden.2020.

© Anne Ackermann - Portrait of my son Luis with a river shell. 2020.
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Portrait of my son Luis with a river shell. 2020.

© Anne Ackermann - Childhood Ensemble. 2020
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Childhood Ensemble. 2020

© Anne Ackermann - Image from the The most beautiful memory. Recollecting my father. photography project
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Portrait of my father at the river taken by his best friend, ca. 1960. I wanted to ask my mother:“What is your most beautiful memory of him?”

The most beautiful memory. Recollecting my father. by Anne Ackermann

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