15th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
If My Mother Were a Color, She Would Be the Color Blue (Self-Portrait)

This body of work is inspired by a photography self-portrait series I made in 2013. At the time, my mother was reaching the end of a long ten year battle against cancer. Each photograph in this series represents a facet of who I am today as a person, after having lived such hardships from the moment my Mother became ill to when finally lost the battle in 2014. The photographs are placed in the order of a narrative, as they are meant to tell a story: My story. When you lose someone, it is as if a part of you dies with them. Many things about you change, though you cannot help it. There is not a single day that goes by that I do not think about my Mother, because everything around me reminds me of Her. Even the little insignificant things that had no importance to me before can somehow remind me of my Mother — and truth be told, that is what hurts the most, but these bittersweet reminders are the only way to keep her memory alive. Each photograph in this series is intentionally thought out and filled with symbolism based on the memory of my Mother. Some memories are foggy, and others are crisp; much like the visual style of the photographs. One of my biggest fears is to forget what She looks like, what She sounds like, what she smells like… which is why I find myself latching onto things that were Hers or that remind me of Her.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 05.2017
Date Uploaded: 09.2017
Photo Location: Montreal, Canada
Copyright: © Natasha Lavigne