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Twisting the Plot

Jun 30, 2020

With my camera, I document the joy and the light of her last years of life – the ways that she circles back home, even as she is leaving.  Cheryle St. Onge in the New York Times, Sunday June 28, 2020. 

Photographer Cheryle St. Onge’s plot twisted when her mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia. Her mother began to disappear, and Cheryle grew increasingly depressed.  Her friends suggested that she make art instead of complain.  So she picked up her iPhone and took a picture of her mother. This led to an exquisite collection of photographs, Calling The Birds Home.  Cheryle describes the experience as “a silent conversation with her Mom in the process of making art.”  

Cheryle St. Onge was named one of the Top 50 Photographers in the country by TIME Magazine. Her work has been exhibited at London’s National Portrait Gallery, Princeton University, Griffin Museum, University of Rhode Island, Massachusetts College of Art, Rick Wester Fine Arts, and with the American Institute of Architects traveling exhibition. She has received numerous awards and fellowships, including the 2009 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. 

Listen as Cheryle talks with us about the creative process with her mother and what she’s learned about herself, her art, aging, and living.

Click here to see her work at Cheryle

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New York Times: Photographing the Beauty of My Mother's Decline