“The Dog’s in the Car” Mum shouts from upstairs. Dad’s been running around the house, in and out of the garden thinking that he has lost Rudi, our dog. This is a common occurrence, where Dad drives back from a dog walk, forgets he’s in the car, comes into the house and proceeds to think that he has lost him.
My Dad, Tony, suffers from an illness called hydrocephalus, which causes him to build up too much fluid in the brain. About 25 years ago, he went in for an operation to put a hole in his head that would allow the liquid to drain easier. However, during that operation his short-term memory was accidentally damaged, permanently leaving him with a unique difficulty with short-term memory.
I began working on this story in 2018, as an interview project through videoing conversations between Dad and our family, capturing how his short-term memory affects his daily life. These became the foundation and primary research of this project, as it led me to realise the importance in the humour projected from my Dad, his charm and strong spirit despite illness. Therefore, I decided to restart this project as a photographic collaboration, with lightness at its core, and capturing the space between us. We use a playful tone through visualising memories and notions of familial care. The project discusses a father-daughter relationship, intimacy, and how one family deals with illness and identity.