Given: The Things We Give and Give Away

As I began brainstorming for this project, I was initially interested in the concept of lost and found. I considered observing misplaced items that are unclaimed and seemingly go not missed. From that starting point, I questioned what could be said about the materials we choose to give away or donate. I was also interested in the question that if people accidentally lose the personal goods that get placed in the lost and found, could personal articles also be found among the mix of intentionally relinquished property at Goodwill Stores as well? As I walked into Goodwill for the first time I had very low expectations. I did not foresee finding any deeply personal products among the shelves. I can recall stumbling upon someone’s bronze baby shoe among the clutter. Holding that person’s shoe so many questions flooded my mind. I wanted to know who this person was, who donated this, and why? I realized I was holding something that was once part of someone’s story. Given focuses on the mundane. It explores our relationship to everyday objects. It also questions why we choose to give personal belongings away and what dictates our decisions of when to let something personal or sentimental go. This series also explores the subjectivity of what is considered valuable or worth saving.

Given presents the perspective of how each of us relates to experiences in our lives differently. The photographs delve into what we choose to leave behind, both literally and figuratively. In taking the object out of its original context, it is given the ability to redefine itself, as its meaning or significance is left up to interpretation. The minor manipulation of each of the images post production and the plain, white background is neither flamboyant nor showy. Each of the photographs is simply the object. This allows the object to speak for itself, as though personified. I wanted to raise the questions: are memory and meaning really found in the thing itself and if the object is taken out of its original context how greatly does that impact its value?


Detail, cover

Self-published book

8.5″ x 10″, 50 pages



Detail, page 7


Detail, page 10


Detail, page 13


Detail, page 23


Detail, page 35

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