#33 from the series, Desolation's Comfort | Mark Lindsay

Several years ago, while studying for my MFA, I realized that photographic images from my past possessed enormous power. Looking through old family albums were like mystical journeys into the unknown. All these souls staring back at me—some I knew, many I didn't. I did the arithmetic. Most were gone now, their once bright and hopeful eyes now just a memory. The old photo albums became a habit. The more I looked, the more I felt. How could tiny snapshots hold such power?

Last week I lost my stepmother. Her death brought back memories of all who are now gone. And while one won't find her image in any of my art, I felt a way to honor her memory was to work, yet again, with the ghosts of my past. As soon as I came home the albums came out again and after resting from the grueling trip to New Jersey, I began my work. It is oddly cathartic to take these old images and create photomontage from them. Like dreams, they take me to places of wonderment. I find within the snapshots the eternal hopes and truths of all who have walked this planet.

I find comfort in fussing over the restoration and re-contextualization[ fix in blog] of these old images, fitting them precisely into my imaginary world. Today, in honor of my stepmother, Genevieve Lindsay, I am debuting a new Desolation's Comfort print, #33 in the series. I'm not sure who the young woman is in the photomontage image. Yet, she seems so confident and so glad to be alive. She stands there, hands on hips, looking back at the camera with a sly smile. It seems fitting that we celebrate life with her image. We wonder about her story, seeing in her a bit of ourselves. Even though each life might be finite, there is eternity in the collective consciousness of which we are a part. This young woman lives on in our own dreams.

The swirling changes of life are with us every moment. Is that the infinite sky I see in that concrete slab? Or is it just an illusion?

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