The kitchen is the hub of my familyís life. Itís the place where we seek physical and emotional sustenance. Itís the place where we congregate to touch base, negotiate, and strategize. Itís the place where we welcome in close friends and recent acquaintances, introducing them to our daily rituals. Itís the place where we make a mess of things and do our best to clean it all up. We pass on ideals, skills, and traditions in the kitchen.
I began regularly photographing my kitchen in the fall of 2002. In this singular space Iíve discovered a range of activities, interactions, and emotions that provide me with a wellspring for reflecting on the meanings of family, interconnection and individuation. Seen over an extended period of time, the kitchen offers a view of lifeís continuities and changes. Carefully viewed, it can render events that transfer behaviors and values from one generation to the next; it provides a microcosmic glimpse of the dynamics of family.
When I sold my house in August 2003 it moved the project in a new direction. My children and I now inhabit a new kitchen, and weíve expanded from a single-parent family comprised by me, my sons, Daniel, who is now 23, and Eric, 18, and my daughter, Lara, 12, to a two-parent, blended family of eight, including my partner Ken, and his three children, Justin, 23, Hillary, 19, and Chelsea, 16.
Since the move I have photographed the complicated process of merging two distinct families. During this time we have negotiated dinner menus and holiday rituals, we have celebrated our union as a family, and we have mourned the death of my mother. In the new kitchen alliances and tensions emerge and disappear, new routines get established, old and new friends arrive and depart. Despite many changes, this remains constant: the kitchen is still the hub of my familyís life. Within the limits of its well-defined domain I explore the unbounded complexity of family.
"Brilliantly observed and captured vignettes of contemporary adolescence, organized around a single room." Alison Devine Nordstrom, Curator of Photographs, George Eastman House
"Grilled Chicken" from In the Kitchen
"Lip Gloss" from In the Kitchen
"Corn Dogs and Milk" from In the Kitchen
"Cherry Coke" from In the Kitchen
"Hanging Out" from In the Kitchen
"Inspection" from In the Kitchen
"Built Tough" from Soccer Mom
"Colin Dean" from Soccer Mom
"R.I.P." from Soccer Mom
"Spectators, U14 Girls" from Soccer Mom
"No Pets on Fields" from Soccer Mom
"The Smell of Chicken" from Sanctioned Sex
"Beautiful Women, Smell Their Scent" from Sanctioned Sex
"Everybody Likes a Happy Girl" from Sanctioned Sex
"No Hassle Girls" from Sanctioned Sex
"Very Clean, Nice Staff" from Sanctioned Sex
"Desiree and Karen, 68 days" from On the Nest
"Kristin and Ryan, 18 days" from On the Nest
"Alejandra and Mark, 12 days" from On the Nest
"Vicki and Klaus, 21 days" from On the Nest
"Heidi and Erik, 30 days" from On the Nest
"Jason and Kevin, 7 days" from On the Nest
Flier for "On the Nest" series participation
From "in the Kitchen" series