Since 2009 photographer Alyssa M DeWitt has photographed the Walker family at their farm in rural Indiana. This exhibition, and the launch of DeWitt's photobook The Walkers, is the culmination of nearly a decade worth of photographs documenting life moments and the photographer's relationship with a family constantly in flux.
At the conception of this photography series in 2009 I intended to investigate my relationship, or lack of a relationship, with my father. He passed away in a farming accident when I was a baby. I began searching for a stand-in family that would help me visualize a new life through my camera -- a life where my father lived and continued working on the farm. After several failed attempts to find a family and place to work out the idea, I created a wanted ad on Craigslist.org. My post went up in Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana, asking for a family with at least two children living on a farm to participate in a long-term photography project.
A couple weeks later Kristen Walker replied to my post. She invited me out to meet her, her husband Josh, and their nine children at their farm in rural Indiana. During my first visit to the farm I learned all the children were there for different reasons. A few children lived in the home every other weekend through a custody arrangement. A few temporarily lived with the family, and some spent the night occasionally. Others were adults in need of support and a place to stay during a hard time. The home was full, chaotic, and alive.
The few constants in the photographs over the years are Kristen, Josh, and their daughter, Morgan, along with the home itself. An ever-changing cast of characters move in and out of the home, as if through a revolving door. At times a drama unfolds and a tense or vulnerable moment manifests; other moments are calm, even serene. Many circumstances of life start and end in these photographs; falling in love, loss, grief, the ugly things, and the beautiful things. There are moments that don't seem important but grow in meaning with distance and the passage of time. Each photograph is an act of self-reflection and meditation. It's a record of this place and those who move through it.
The 2018 Photography & Digital Arts Exhibition Series is sponsored in part by: