Memory Pods Memory Pods is an investigation of aging, mortality, memory and loss. My semi-abstract and anthropomorphic subject is the flowers and seed pods of Aloe Vera plants. The progression of flowers going to seed, where biological memory resides, is representative of youthful vibrancy, middle age muddling, and at the end when the memories are gone. In the final stages of this botanical progression, I observe the ensnarled and weathering that mimics the tangled masses in the brain of those afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease.
We take our ability to retain a memory for granted, nevertheless with the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), those memories can be frustratingly lost. Forever. Alzheimer’s’ Disease or other neurological memory disease painfully intervenes in an individual’s life essentially creating hollow shells of once vibrant individuals. Those who suffer initially do not outwardly appear different than before the onset of memory loss, but subsequently profound physical and memory changes occur quickly. When our brain ceases to hold any memory there is also the loss of the individual. We exist though our memories. Such was the case of my late mother, grand-mother and great grand-father, whose angst having experienced terrible memory loss as a result of Alzheimer’s Disease. All of whom had an early onset condition that meant they left us too soon.
During the degeneration process there are phases of intense sadness, anger, bewilderment, confusion and deepening depression until all memory has transpired, then individual’s memories go blank. Even before these memories are lost, an inflicted person has awareness and a growing realization that something is tragically wrong. Concurrently the individual’s family and other care-givers experience similar mental and physical stress. Family members can experience bouts of gloom and self-doubt, as though living under a lurking gray cloud constantly hovering overhead, as to the potential consequences of this inheritable and dreadful disease. I know.
The elegant botanical portraits can be a pleasure to contemplate while considering how the evident beauty may only hint at the chaos that is concealed within.
Douglas Stockdale(American) is an artist and Editor of PhotoBook Journal, the contemporary photobook magazine, on the faculty of the Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP) and Medium Photo (San Diego). Stockdale’s investigates various aspects of memory while being fascinated by science. He has been published by Punctum Edizioni (Rome, Italy), self-published three limited edition artists books and two photographic guides. Stockdale’s artist books are recognized as Best Photography Books for 2014 (Pine Lake) and 2014 (Bluewater Shore).
Stockdale’s artwork is in the permanent collections of Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Roma (MACRO, Rome, Italy), Reminders Photobook Library (Tokyo, Japan), Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library (Yale University, Boston, MA), The Franklin Furnace Archive (Brooklyn, NY) and the book collection of the School of Visual Arts (NYC, NY). He has been featured in LensWork, photo-eye,Silvershotz, Lenscratch, VoyageLA, OpenShow and Looking at Photographs, among others. He has been included in many solo and group exhibitions and received numerous awards in recognition of his artwork and his writing about art.
He curated exhibitions for Los Angles Center of Photography (Los Angeles, CA), Photo Independent (Los Angeles, CA) and Fotografia Internazionale di Roma, (Rome, Italy), co-curated with 10x10 Photobooks and FotoBookFestival Kassel and a guest curator for LA Photo Curator and the Photographers Exchange. He leads a popular photo book design workshop for both LACP and Medium Photo and is a portfolio reviewer for various organizations.
He is represented by Fabrik Projects (gallery), Los Angeles, has a Masters from the University of La Verne, California and a bachelors in Industrial Design from Michigan State University.
His studio is in Orange County, CA.
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