Communities are part of our everyday lives, in some way or another we are involved in multiple communities that all function differently. For the last few years I have been exploring how community functions in neighborhoods. One way of examining this is through an individual’s housing from a social as well as geographical point of view. Taking two individuals, Mike and Colleen, and photographing their structural history, I am interested in how people often make assumptions about an individual based on location of their home. Starting with the homes that they occupied as children, and continuing through to the architectural structure they currently live in, every property has been documented in its current state.
Some of these structures either don’t stand anymore or have been completely re-modified since Mike and Colleen have occupied the spaces. With all of the changes, these are still the places that they lived in and participated as part of the neighboring community. By tracing their geographic history, I am investigating how their identity has been shaped through their relationship with the dwelling and the surrounding community.
In presenting these images along with personal text from Mike and Colleen, it examines both the public and private elements of an individual within a community. A first impression or judgment is often visual. Location and how the structure appears allow an immediate idea of the people that occupy the space and the community that it is a part of. The text then brings in another aspect. Impressions and judgments often change once familiarity is established, by telling personal stories about the structure, events that took place, and people related to the property, the viewer becomes acquainted with the individual and can follow them throughout their life. This allows an idea of who these people are to be formed. Following two particular people, it is interesting to see what influenced them in their lives and lead them to their current home. An important question that this raises is how do people arrive in the present and what values, attitudes, and mindsets follow them throughout their lives?