El Abuelo


“El Abuelo” is a sequence of images exploring the relationship with my grandad through objects that bring up my childhood memories linked to him. The girl inside me wouldn’t exist without the influence of my grandad. He took me climbing, exploring caves, mushroom picking, taught me insect names, growing vegetables and fed me ice-cream. I loved him.

What is it about?

I was almost 30 when I saw him for the last time. I think I knew. I remember looking back for a second or two while leaving him behind at his table, sitting on his chair, the place were he was always meant to be. I made sure my eyes, my brain and all my senses recorded that image. Two months passed, I was far away. It was the 11/09/2011 when I said to a friend that my grandad was dying and I was right. Someone told me the next day, and his funeral was held on my 30th birthday.

“El Abuelo” never talked too much but despite the distance he somehow said goodbye so I could know he wasn’t here anymore. He also made sure I would never forget.

Exploring the relationship with my grandad is about portraying his role from the perspective of my childhood experiences beside him. It is a very personal view of a loved person, intimate till the point that the girl inside me would not exist without the influence of my grandad.

Each image is a reminder of our genuine connection. The content of the sequence does not seek for criticism but acts as a reminder of what relationships are about and how memories are imprinted in everyday objects. It is an invitation to reflect on the special people who nurtured our childhood and the feelings and emotions that emerge when an object or situation brings us back to those early years.

This isn’t a collection of “mementos”, as each item is a representation of the original objects. Regardless, the imprint of the past and the strong bond created between “El Abuelo” and myself allows me to appreciate them as if they were in fact the items that once existed.