Will Harris peeks into the family archive showing us his nana’s story

Will Harris Evelyn Beckett 8

Will Harris (b. 1990) is an emerging visual artist living in Philadelphia, PA. His work deals with memory, history, identity, time, and place.He is a multimedia artist that mostly utilizes photography. Will holds his BFA in Photography from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA and MFA in Photography and Integrated Media from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. He is a recent recipient of the Black Creative Endeavors Grant awarded from Something Special Studios. Will first monograph You can call me Nana is forthcoming and to be published by Overlapse Books in early 2021.

About ‘Evelyn Backett’ – words by Will Harris:

In this work I confront the complexities of my Nana, Evelyn Beckett’s dementia, by fabricating the pieces that have gone missing. Within my Nana’s mind, history and fiction collide, creating something strangely new, haunting and at times painfully beautiful. Ten years ago was now ten minutes ago. There were no seasons; the clocks stood still. My grandmother was both lost and reborn. Fragments of the person I used to know would come to me now and then, but she was no longer my Nana and there was no one to hold our familial history together. Evelyn Beckett was the gatekeeper, and she left her post. A new relationship began; once her grandson, I became an old friend. My mother, her only child, ultimately became a caregiver. Although I felt a profound loss, I also had a sense of a new friend. As we mined the archive of her life, I began to reconstruct and deconstruct all that was known to be true in an unconscious collaboration with Evelyn. In concert with her conflation and obfuscation, I also slide across media; as an artist, I invent, suggest and embrace possibility.

Time to read
1 min
Words by
Published on
25 December 2020
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