Very early before, I sat in my car for a little while instead of rushing off like I normally do. I looked around and saw a cardinal swoop down and land on the sidewalk near my car. I became hypnotized by it. I cold not remember that last time I saw a cardinal in Chicago. This struck me because it has always been a symbol of my grandma to me. She keeps a full bird feeder outside of her dining room window to attract the cardinals. My mother, aunt, or grandmother would stand at the kitchen window, doing the dishes, and looking out onto the apple orchard while birds flew in for a snack. My grandmother would always point out when a cardinal came to visit.
I called my mother to tell her that I had seen a cardinal that day. She told me, "that means someone from heaven is smiling down on you". It hit me hard. Later that day I would say goodbye to my sister for the last time at her memorial service.
Cardinal Direction is a body of work is a series of photographic documents that explore family history, place, and identity through portraiture and landscape. These images are created using an analogue large format camera. Focusing primarily, but not exclusively, on the place of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Cardinal Direction is an ode to my grandmother's family and legacy.