I wrote about Deanna Dikeman’s work last October after reviewing her images for Critical Mass. Deanna shared a 25 year project, Relative Moments, about her family that was, and is, capturing moments of real life. I wanted to take the time to showcase work from other projects, in particular, Wardrobe and Home Alone (in the middle of the day).
Deanna’s series, Wardrobe, finds beauty in quantity, whether it be in the pattern, color, texture, or nostalgia of discarded clothing found in thrift shops. Her series, Home Alone (in the middle of the day) is a quiet, contemplative exploration of light and simplicity, and leaves me wanting to navigate those spaces, walk down the stairs, spread out on that white bedspread and take a long nap.
Wardrobe: These photographs were taken at a charity thrift shop and at the Stephens College Historical Costume Collection in Columbia, Missouri. I often find myself wondering about the stories of the clothes. And I feel kind of sorry for them. Once treasured garments, they were discarded as the wearer moved on to new styles and fashions.
What affluence we have, that we can afford to cast away our clothes so often. And what does fashion mean, that it leads us to quit wearing perfectly functional clothing in favor of the latest trend? With my photographs, I rearrange how the clothes are displayed, spatially and temporally. Maybe I can give them some new kind of life, and we can appreciate their beauty, even as they hang forlorn and discarded.
Inventory: fur coats 1999
Green coat 2005
Pink and patchwork long dresses 2004
Inventory: red sweaters 1999/2000
Sleeves: blouses/robes/blouses 2002/2003
Coats: 1950s/1960s/designer 2005
Evening wear: 1950s/1960s/designer
Home alone (in the middle of the day): These photographs are intended to provide a psychological view into the spaces we inhabit. They were taken in my home, or the homes of close family members.
Images from Home Alone
The use of shallow focus is a tool to keep the images from becoming too literal. I am nearsighted. Sometimes when I look around without my glasses, I can see fantastic blurred shapes and patterns created by the objects and light and shadows in the rooms of my house.
I remember once when I was a child and at home, too sick to go to school. I was in my bed, in my room, in the middle of the day, with my glasses off. Any object beyond a few feet away from me was mysteriously blurry. The flowered curtains had new vague patterns that I imagined were creatures’ faces or other shapes. Sometimes those faces were quite scary. Sometimes the shapes were fun.
Sometimes our vision is too perfect to see the spirit of what is in our everyday sight.
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