In my family, my Grandmother is boss. Her house is a home that hasn’t changed for most of my life and inside the cosy familiar home are lots of photos on show.
There are children, husbands, wives, cousins, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in a frame somewhere in this house.
The most prized photos go on display under a glass-top coffee table in the centre of the room. If you have made this table, you are on centre stage and I am doing my best to get my baby on that table.
After living overseas for a many years, this is all part of my homecoming. I want my son to be part of an extended family.
There are photos here that have been on show for decades, in the same spot. Every spare flat space is filled with wedding shots, dated family pics and old baby photographs.
TAP THE IMAGE to scroll through some of the photos on show.
All through my life I have been fascinated with my grandmother’s collection of photographs. This is the maternal matriarchal home of a huge family and the photos and albums tell our story.
I love looking at my parents wedding photos and daggy haircuts before it all went wrong. Even my own baby photo sits in a large frame along the mantelpiece alongside my grandmother’s children.
Now, I want my son to make the mantelpiece or at least the table. But why is it important to be included?
Mark Wheeler, a Principal Art Psychotherapist in the UK, says photographs “prompt curiosity, conversation and storytelling” which he describes as “the glue of relationships”.
Wheeler uses photographs and art therapeutically as they can “act as catalysts to conversations”. He says displaying photographs in a home enable “children of the family to tell stories and reinforce their sense of identity and continuity”.