Something about each of these objects and their locations led me to photograph them. I connect them in a way that speaks to my life: Living with ADD presents challenges as well as opportunities for creativity. These forgotten or discarded objects allow me to think of myself in creative ways and through a creative medium.
June 2012, Dayton, Ohio
There was something poignant about this half-buried fire hydrant in a field of clover. The hydrant once served an important function, providing water to put out fires. It must have been located conveniently next to a curb, or next to a street that formerly ran alongside. The landscape has changed, and so has its use, making the hydrant obsolete, or perhaps a reminder of bygone days. Ironically, the site is now a city park with restored and rebuilt historical buildings, where people can see how life was in the past. Still, the hydrant had no place in this recreated historical village.
I am sometimes like this half-buried hydrant: exposed, different, in a uniform world, half-buried or drowning in the whirlwind of routines, expectations, things to accomplish and only having the ability to understand and achieve half of it, and others only partially understanding me. My abilities are sometimes overlooked, I am stripped of my talents because of the focus on one aspect – a defective one – of multifaceted me. This hydrant is no longer needed or appreciated. When I lose jobs repeatedly, I feel that I am no longer needed or appreciated, and struggle to maintain a positive self-esteem.
I saw this discarded Barbie on a walk in my neighborhood. The lawn has been mowed and loose grass surrounds her, as if she is being buried. What will be her fate? By the looks of her lower half, she has been abused and no longer desired; yet her face and hair remain untouched and there remains a hint of her original outfit. Gone are those tiny feet permanently molded for high heels, gone are the clothing that marked her particular interest and personality.
When I came upon this sight, I immediately felt sad. A girl who had forgotten her initial excitement about her doll, no longer cherished. An example of our fleeting interests in a throw away culture in which children are encouraged to develop short attention spans. Barbie dolls are not expensive – it is easy to discard one after it has been misused and mangled, and buy another brand new. The juxtaposition of a grassy lawn, a landscape of nature, with a symbol of consumerism, a plastic toy whose materials will not break down for thousands of years, while its surrounding plant material is easily composted and recycled. Perhaps plastic Barbie could have been recycled as well – if anyone had remembered or cared.
On the deck in back of my house, May 2012
This mop tangled in a sea of maple seeds reminds me of my life. Or at least what is dysfunctional in my life. How long has that mop been there? Months, at least. There is a need to clean up the deck, to sweep away these seeds. Yet I spend my free time indulging my curiosity and creativity. Confronting the need to organize, to clean, to straighten, to make my living space a thing of pride, where its beauty can be appreciated free of clutter. This is something nearly impossible for me to do. Oh, I get bouts of energy of the kind that lead me to clean and organize. But more often I procrastinate or simply forget. Like this forgotten mop surrounded by the clutter of its surroundings.