SAL TAYLOR KYDD
Having spent much of the the last ten years documenting my family and those closest to me in conversation with nature, I now find myself, as I approach middle age turning my camera inward to examine a more internal landscape. I was drawn to the Roman God Janus as a symbol of this transition and of new beginnings. This is a time when my children need me less, or need me differently and I find myself contemplating a different future and identity. This occurs at a time when, as a woman growing older, how the world sees us begins to shift, so my focus was drawn to this notion of how we are really seen at this stage in our lives.
As I was exploring these themes I came across this quote from Carson McCullers, who also spoke of Janus but in a different vein - how we can feel both nostalgic for a sometimes imaginary past and still yearn for the new and unexpected. This push and pull lies at the very center of my work as I pull at the threads of memory to help me make sense of the here and now. Much of this work was made in the South on the islands off the coast of Georgia, so it was serendipitous that a Southern writer should encapsulate so succinctly what I was trying to say.
“It is a curious emotion, this certain homesickness I have in mind ... It is no simple longing for the home town or country of our birth. The emotion is Janus-faced: we are torn between a nostalgia for the familiar and an urge for the foreign and strange. As often as not, we are homesick most for the places we have never known.”
— Carson McCullers The Heart is a Lonely Hunter