The photographs from my book are of inmates shown in as many aspects of their daily life as I could manage.  Those images are juxtaposed against their stories, written in their own hand.  I spent a lot of time listening to the stories these men told me about their life, both in prison and before they landed there. The stories were often moving and powerful.  I made a promise that their words would never be altered, edited, or taken out of context. That is the reason you will see photographs of their handwriting in the book, just the way they presented it to me.

Alzheimer's and Caregiving

Alzheimer’s and Caregiving
My Mother and Father have been subjects of my image making since the first time I picked up a camera as a child.  When I began to notice that they were having difficulty with their mental capacity, it didn’t occur to me to discontinue photographing them. I now have a substantial, twelve year long, visual record of what it looks like when aging parents slowly descend into Alzheimer’s disease.  I also kept rough journals outlining events and the feelings involved with dealing with them. My experience taught me that I was not prepared for what was ahead of me, neither legally nor emotionally.  What does one do when siblings and family are not willing to assist in caregiving efforts?  How does one handle a father that has become belligerent and aggressive, or a mother that becomes totally dependent on their child to make every decision for her?  How do these things effect my image making as these relationships change?  Can the anger, frustration, and fear be found in my images.

Black and White Favorites

Black and White Work
When I point my camera at something, I am faced with many choices.  I have to make several decisions before I trip the shutter.  Some of the choices are obvious, and the decisions are easily made.  Some decisions are below the surface and made without conscious thought.  They are all based on my experience in life up to that point. I can’t make any other decision than the one I make.  My approach to image-making is often a spontaneous one.  I moved through a place and made quick decisions, based on judgments about what was in front of me.  The judgments don’t have to be correct or true, they just have to be interesting and fleeting.  The relationships and stories implied in the image don’t have to be real.  I take joy in implying things that were only there because I placed a frame around it and froze it in time.  It is a game in which I take much pleasure.

R. Kim Rushing

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