[ Above: Image © Kija Lucas; photograph from the series Collections from Sundown ]
Aging is the the most universal form of invisibility. It transcends color, creed, and class and slowly transforms us all from here to slowly no here. If the memory of our lives starts to disappear as well, who are we? And were we ever here at all?
Artist Kija Lucas is a San Francisco-based artist exploring memory through photography. In the series Collections from Sundown, she archives the notes and reminders of her Grandmother as she perseveres through memory-loss from Alzheimer’s. Lucas’s quiet series of color photographs with deep black background and sharp focus honors the strength of person, the process of loss, and the tiny remnants we hold onto to fight against the inevitable invisibility of dying.
Collections from Sundown focuses on my grandmother who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. The term Sundown here refers to both Sundowner’s Syndrome, a symptom of Alzheimer’s, and the metaphor for the end of life. Sundowning includes increased confusion, collecting and packing of belongings, and often preparing for a perceived trip. These still lives include images of what she collected in a single day, as well as groupings of notes she wrote over a period of several years, and make evident the changes in reality that come with her disease. The notes reflect the repetition experienced by loved ones of a person with Alzheimer’s.Project statement by Kija Lucas
Kija Lucas is an artist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She uses photography to explore ideas of home, heritage, and inheritance. She is interested in how ideas are passed down and seemingly inconsequential moments create changes that last generations.
Her work has been exhibited at Oakland Museum of California, Anglim Gilbert Gallery, Headlands Center for the Arts, San Francisco Arts Commission Galleries, California Institute of Integral Studies, Palo Alto Arts Center, Intersection for the Arts, Mission Cultural Center, and Root Division, as well as Venice Arts in Los Angeles, CA, La Sala d’Ercole/Hercules Hall in Bologna Italy, and Casa Escorsa in Guadalajara, Mexico. Lucas has been an Artist in Residence at Montalvo Center for the Arts, Grin City Collective, and The Wassaic Artist Residency. She is a member of 3.9 Art Collective and the Curatorial Council at Southern Exposure. Lucas received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and her MFA from Mills College.
See this series and more of her work at kijalucas.com