Late in 2013, I showed Ida, my 89-year-old-mother, a photographic portrait series of realistic dolls I was working on. Just beginning to show signs of dementia, Ida responded strongly to the dolls in the photos. So I got her one. A former maternity nurse, Ida had always loved babies (and small dogs), and treated the doll as if it were a real baby. I began to photograph Ida, Tabitha (as she'd named her doll) and myself, and developed a portfolio of images and text.
Once the photos were complete, I transformed them. I stapled, sewed, laced, pierced and peeled the prints. I cut them apart, wove them back together, and mounted the resulting photo-collages in old frames from local thrift shops. The framed photos reminds me of the small family photo clusters with which Ida once adorned her home. She lived in that home for 50 years in Buffalo, New York, before leaving for a room in Belmont Village, the assisted living center in the Chicagoland exurbs, where she now lives.