The distinction between grief and depression might seem insignificant to some, but the chasm between the two is big enough for guilt and confusion to bounce around in the turbulence, gaining velocity until it’s almost hard to tell the difference. One mocks the other, as if it’s a competition to determine which is more painful. In reality, they just play into each other’s hands.
Since the death of my mother, a life lost to Alzheimers, I’ve been grappling with both. After caring for her for so long I was too tired to feed myself, too blasé to care about my own happiness, much less my health. I went through the motions - growing vegetables in my garden, shopping for what I couldn’t grow, but ultimately, most of it disintegrated, rotten and forgotten. “Fallen Fruit” is an ongoing series documenting that imperfect produce. They are misshapen, moldy, or disfigured to an extent that renders them inedible, unable to fulfill their raison d’être.
At first glance their portrayals allude to themes of food waste, and by proxy, food inequality, the environment and global hunger. There are so many things wrong with our broken food system that I’m constantly considering the repercussions of my own food choices. The result of this practice: I can’t help but document the produce that has expired in my own fridge, like a catalog of failures, or a confession of my sins.
But upon inspection — or perhaps introspection — these forlorn subjects also allude more intangible themes of transience, fragility, and decay. They seem dejected. I treat them gently. Unwanted produce inspires in me some kind of misplaced empathy. I photograph them as though taking their portraits, attempting to lay bare their fragility, their intrinsic beauty. Perhaps I find these objects so intriguing because the state feels somehow familiar. Altered by time, imperfect by circumstance, I recognize my own vulnerability to the forces of nature in every defective piece of fruit.
Admittedly, my perception of the world is formed through a crooked periscope. The images in “Fallen Fruit” just reflect what I see; a life full of loss, a story of waste; a missed opportunity represented by what would have been savored, if only I’d been hungry enough to make it to the picnic.