Donna Tramontozzi: Long Rememberings of Goodbyes
And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.
– Maya Angelou
How do we remember lives taken from us too soon? Donna Tramontozzi has been carrying the grief and weight of losing four brothers in the prime of life to an inherited disease for many decades. Her new book, Long Rememberings of Goodbyes, is a profound effort to honor and revisit some of the darkest days of her life. As a young woman growing up in a large Catholic family in Boston, her life was put on hold over and over as the losses mounted. It’s a kind of grief that remains under the surface, but is ever present. Now Tramontozzi brings these memories into focus with a book that uses the natural world as sanctuary, as a place to land, in all its remarkable beauty. When combined with personal text, she creates a powerful and deeply felt journey into the fragile past.
Boston-based photographer and writer Donna Tramontozzi’s work explores the human experience in the natural world. After a career as a high tech executive and business owner, Donna parlayed her knowledge of digital media and its storytelling potential into her photographic practice.
Donna has a BA in English and has studied at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, the Maine Media Workshops and the Griffin Museum of Photography. Her solo show, Optical Shards, has been shown in various Griffin–affiliated galleries and won a silver portfolio award at the San Francisco Bay International Awards. Donna’s work has been included in multiple juried shows including those at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, MA, Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, CA, SE Center for Photography in Greenville, NC, F-Stop Magazine, Photoplace Gallery in Middleboro, VT and Yankee Magazine.
Follow Donna Tramontozzi on Instagram: @dmtozzi
Long Rememberings of Goodbye
Long Rememberings of Goodbye details my exploration into the nature of memory, the solace of nature, and the lasting connection of family. Nature has always been my photographic subject, but with this work the natural world was my refuge as I revisited memories of my four brothers’ premature deaths from an inherited disease. Using images of ice and algae partnered with text musings, I reflect on memories of my brothers and consider how those memories have evolved over time.
Crystals in the ice glimmer with the sunlight’s path through them evoking an ethereal, celestial cosmos. The images of translucent ice also provide a metaphorical context to remember times when perfect, fleeting moments are lost through weather and circumstance, while the accompanying text offers intimate glimpses of my relationships with Bill, Paul, Mike and Stephen. Ice as a transitory event resonates with my feelings about the loss of my brothers. They were so present and then gone.
The cypress trees, here covered with the algae Trentepohlia at Point Lobos and mixed with salt water, are irrevocably changed. The process doesn’t kill them, but they become something of a different organism. Similarly, when time mixes with some memories, facts slip away until only emotions remain and those memories become part of your body. The images of the cypresses capture how some of my most painful memories feel.
Lastly, I return to the ephemeral ice, with its promise of solace and connection. I hope that the book celebrates the lasting connection of time, emotion, memory and life. – Donna Tramontozzi
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