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A Photographer's Poignant Portraits Of Her Aging Parents

London-based Lydia Goldblatt turns everyday moments into visual poetry with these loving photographs that depict the passage of time.

  • <p>In her series <em>Still Here,</em> London-based photographer <a href="http://lydiagoldblatt.com/" target="_blank">Lydia Goldblatt</a> captures the eerie and quietly heartbreaking process of aging with poignant shots of her parents in their London house.</p>
  • <p>The curled body of a dead bee, which might seem like no big deal if you spotted it on your windowsill, takes on a deep melancholy when seen through Goldblatt’s lens, juxtaposed with her studies of aging human bodies.</p>
  • <p>Goldblatt turns their everyday activities into visual poetry—this shot of her father slumped at the breakfast table is lit as dramatically as a Caravaggio.</p>
  • <p>Extreme close-ups turn their bodies into abstract landscapes—in “Hinterland,” the hairs on her father’s balding head could be weeds in a dark field.</p>
  • <p>Goldblatt's mother is a Jewish exile from Nazi Germany, and her father, Ted, a psychoanalyst, died last year at age 94.</p>
  • <p>Goldblatt has said that she is interested in "the collapsing and suspension of time that occurs in the realization of our short span within it.... Time can speed up, rush towards conclusions, yet equally stop, languid and glittering with stillness," she writes.</p>
  • 01 /09 | "Bath."

    In her series Still Here, London-based photographer Lydia Goldblatt captures the eerie and quietly heartbreaking process of aging with poignant shots of her parents in their London house.

  • 02 /09 | Bee

    The curled body of a dead bee, which might seem like no big deal if you spotted it on your windowsill, takes on a deep melancholy when seen through Goldblatt’s lens, juxtaposed with her studies of aging human bodies.

  • 03 /09 | Father

    Goldblatt turns their everyday activities into visual poetry—this shot of her father slumped at the breakfast table is lit as dramatically as a Caravaggio.

  • 04 /09 | Hinterland

    Extreme close-ups turn their bodies into abstract landscapes—in “Hinterland,” the hairs on her father’s balding head could be weeds in a dark field.

  • 05 /09 | Mother

    Goldblatt's mother is a Jewish exile from Nazi Germany, and her father, Ted, a psychoanalyst, died last year at age 94.

  • 06 /09 | Narcissus
  • 07 /09 | Rain
  • 08 /09 | Red Shoes
  • 09 /09 | Time Spent

    Goldblatt has said that she is interested in "the collapsing and suspension of time that occurs in the realization of our short span within it.... Time can speed up, rush towards conclusions, yet equally stop, languid and glittering with stillness," she writes.

Few find it easy to watch parents age. Wrinkles and walkers become unwanted reminders of time’s passing, and playing caretaker to your former caretakers can be surreal. Many of us just try not to think about it. But London-based photographer Lydia Goldblatt doesn’t shy away.

In her series Still Here, Goldblatt captures the quietly heartbreaking process with poignant shots of her aging parents in their London house. Her mother is a Jewish exile from Nazi Germany, and her father, Ted, a psychoanalyst, died last year at age 94. Goldblatt turns their everyday activities into visual poetry with shots of her mother taking a bath and her father slumped at the breakfast table. They are lit as dramatically as Caravaggio paintings.

Extreme close-ups turn their bodies into abstract landscapes—in "Hinterland," the hairs on her father’s balding head could be weeds in a dark field. The curled body of a dead bee, which might seem like no big deal if you spotted it on your windowsill, takes on a deep melancholy when seen through Goldblatt’s lens, juxtaposed with her studies of aging human bodies. Perhaps most powerful about these photographs, though, is how they capture Goldblatt’s love for her parents.

Goldblatt, whose photography often appears in the London Telegraph and the Guardian, has said that she is interested in "the collapsing and suspension of time that occurs in the realization of our short span within it.... Time can speed up, rush towards conclusions, yet equally stop, languid and glittering with stillness," she writes.

Still Here is available from Hatje Cantz for $37 here.

Slideshow Credits: 01 / Lydia Goldblatt; 02 / Lydia Goldblatt; 03 / Lydia Goldblatt; 04 / Lydia Goldblatt; 05 / Lydia Goldblatt; 06 / Lydia Goldblatt; 07 / Lydia Goldblatt; 08 / Lydia Goldblatt; 09 / Lydia Goldblatt;

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