Samantha Jackson Photography

Temporary Absence (2019)

I produced the series 'Temporary Absence' for my second-year Winter Photography Production term project. 'Temporary Absence is a project signifying the physical manifestation of human absence. Due to the sudden absence created by one of my closest friends dropping out of school and moving away, I felt the urgency to explore my emotions surrounding this significant event in my life. Given the time of year when she moved away, I saw the connection between empty outdoor spaces and her now-empty room, devoid of personal belongings. Furthermore, I decided to bring this concept to a Toronto landscape as one of the activities we enjoyed doing together was exploring the city, since neither of us is from here. Throughout the series, I attempt to portray a sense of temporary absence by photographing empty landscapes which point to a human presence that is missing from the image. Whether it is an empty chair or bench, or a personal object, coupled with the varying weather conditions the viewer is presented with a visual space to contemplate their own absences or explore the ambiguous backstory of the artist. While there are some elements such as the baseball glove and softball that are visibly personal, the sequencing of images is meant to tell a narrative of my emotional plight throughout completing this project. Venturing to each site on my own and taking the time to sit and reflect while at each empty landscape proved to be a cathartic way to address the personal reason that motivated me to produce this series. By viewing the images starting from those with overcast weather, to those with expressive clouds, to finish with sunny blue days, one can draw the conclusion that things will work out in the end, and often absences are simply temporary.

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