Photographer Sandra Matthews started her ongoing portrait project – Timelines – in 1989. She writes, “I began a portrait project in which I photographed individual women – family, friends and acquaintances – against a backdrop of collaged newspaper. Eighteen years later I returned to this project, making new backdrops, re-photographing some of the original subjects and adding new ones. The focus of the work shifted to the passage of time itself. I photographed not only individuals over time, but also generations alongside each other.”
The Mead currently has two of Matthews’ portraits on view (through June 29). The first is Amira and Nancy 1989 / Amira and Samari 2008 (above), which depicts a mother, Nancy, and her daughter, Amira, on the left, and grown-up Amira and her own daughter, Samari, on the right. The second is Ibi 1989/ Ibi 2007 (below), two portraits of one woman taken eighteen years apart.
Matthews continues: “While the individuals I have photographed are drawn from my own circle of personal relationships, their lives are shaped by global factors. Collectively, they have experienced illness, violence, disability and loss, and also have grown, survived, met challenges and thrived. Taken together, the ‘Timelines’ allow me to engage more fully with my own historical moment.”
To see more of Matthews Timelines, visit her website.