artist spotlight: amy friend

I found Amy Friend's work through one of my good friend's blogs. Kristin was showing Amy's amazing light series (which was originally what I planned to post about,) but while looking over Amy's portfolio I found something that pulled at my heartstrings even more.

amy friend via courtney khail

Amy's "Soon This Space Will Be Too Small" series (where the following photos are from) focuses on a collection of clothing from her deceased grandmother. Drawn especially to her nightgowns, Amy photographed each one with such care and such beautiful lighting that the pieces seem to come alive. Pieces of cloth that once stayed tucked in a drawer, now seemed full of motion, illustrating a life that once was. Aren't these pieces beautiful?

amy friend via courtney khail

It struck such a cord with me because a similar "collecting" of items happened when my grandmother passed. Here was my entire family, wandering through a house that felt empty without her presence, collecting items that we didn't want to part with-items that reminded us of her. A carved wooden bear, a turquoise insulator (the glass electrical ones which she collected,) sepia toned photographs from her childhood- little pieces of her life that we held on to in order to keep her memory alive. Being most similar to her size, my mom ushered me into my grandmother's closet to look through anything I might like. Sitting there surrounded by her amazing collection of belts and scarves, I couldn't help but cry. It felt intrusive, almost like a violation. These weren't mine. I felt I had no right to them. (Nor did I really want to accept that she was gone.) But with my mom sitting there, holding up piece by piece looking for my response, I tried to be strong and just push through. Laid across my grandmother's bed was an array of colors, styles and materials that illustrated a timeline of her life- meticulously hand beaded belts from the 80's, an amazing hammered bronze wrap with gold cording from I'm guessing the 70's, a black belt with a beautiful center knot from who knows when- pieces she loved and held on to despite probably not having worn them for years.

And although it was hard to do, looking back I'm happy my mom made me because now every time I slip into one of my grandmother's gowns or hook one of her amazing belts around a dress- I can't help but smile and feel like one of my closest friends is always near.