St. Mary's Projects in Studio Art:

Allie Snyder / SMP 2011


At a time where our lives have become staged photo opportunities to be posted on Facebook, saved as screensavers, or tacked to our dorm room walls, I am ever intrigued by the way we recall our history. In a world so dominated by imagery, where do our memories fit? Which are more honest, more tangible, more everlasting? After discovering family snapshots taken of a time I can no longer remember, before the death of my brother Avery, I am most disturbed by the disjunction between this parallel history of images that exist separate from my memory.

My brother died when I was nine years old. He was six. When asked of my earliest memory I am immediately drawn to that night, looking out from my front window at the array of emergency vehicles illuminating our yard through the downpour of rain. As a painter of photographs, it would be easy for me to say that from that moment forward pictures were all I had left of him. But as our lives continued and our houses changed, these photographs slowly made their way into boxes and, until recently, never made their way out. Instead it was specific memories (our last conversation, the sound of his voice, his laugh) that took up the space in my memory and home. The gravity of these moments, and the effort it took to preserve them, was just too great to allow room for anything else.