In Memory of Connie Haseltine 1916 – 2010
Artist Statement Oct. 2011
These photographs were taken at Shaver Lake in the California Sierra Nevada. It was my mother’s favorite place in the world—she spent every summer of her life in those mountains. Now her ashes are there with the dirt and water.
Her last summer in the mountains was in 2010. I showed her these photos in the small viewer of my camera – we sat side by side on the flattened camp bed inside the tiny cabin grandad built in ‘41. Her eyesight was still good enough to see the images clearly, and she peered at them, exclaiming, turning the frame this way, then that way, looking at each image in all directions. She had a sophisticated and curious eye and was fascinated by all the different images you could see in one picture. My camera is an unsophisticated but waterproof Olympus; I got it for kayaking. Most of these images were shot while drifting along in my little boat, my body swiveling as the joint between the rock and the direction I was going. The last time I saw Connie was there at Shaver Lake. She got around using her cane and one hand against the side of the cabin. She slept outside, watched the sky, and savored as much as she could. On our last day the cars were all packed—my sister Kit would take her home and I would return to San Francisco. My mother and I were now just standing in the noon dust. She turned to me and said solemnly: ‘So…we part ways, now.’ I think she knew something that neither one of us could bear to face directly. Now she is dust, herself, and mystery…