Material possessions are often the subject of much scorn and contempt. Forewarnings on falling slave to ones belongings is a recurring piece of wisdom that is dispensed quite often by the prudent and judicious. But as we live in a material world, it is in reality difficult to see people devoid of their personal effects. Along with precious memories, material possessions of people we know are all we have to remind us of who they are or were. The saying in the bible is so true that “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” While this verse admonishes of having false gods, special possessions need not be seen as being such. These belongings disclose a person’s passions, interests, vocation, or livelihood. They offer a glimpse into their lives. This is the idea behind photographer Camilla Catrambone’s photo series, Portraits of my Family.
It is a collection of images of things most associated with dear family members. They tell a story without having to say a word about these intimate relatives. Easily you see there was a Grandfather that could have been a master craftsman, a stout nanny that loved to eat, another grandfather that once held a desk job, a grandmother that liked the finer things in life, and most definitely a loving mother that spent hours in the kitchen cooking sumptuous meals. The Florence, Italy based Catrambone obviously has a sentimental side that is evident in these poignant photographs.
‘These portraits aim to represent my family members through the objects they’ve owend…I’ll introduce you more family members of mine soon…”
Viewing the pictures, one is made to think about similar possessions that help define people we know. What would you put in a similar portrait to remember your own grandparents, an aunt, uncle, a brother, sister, or your father or mother? It is even more intriguing to think of how people would compose a portrait of ourselves.