All the things unsaid explores a personal narrative of reconciliation with my family through the process of making photographs.
I use the camera as a conduit for reconciliation with my family from whom I have spent a decade estranged. This project explores the ruptures caused by grief and loss and aims to explore the cathartic possibilities of slow photography to pull affects from the body into the image.
Through visual interpretations of these ruptures and their impacts, the project seeks to acknowledge that grief is a state of being that not only shapes familial and personal identities but alters ways of seeing.
Grief is central to this project. It was my father's death in 2010 that tore through the thin threads that had held my familial relationships together. My first profound experience of death was of a parent, a parent for whom I had cared for over many years in my youth. Grief is impossible to describe to someone who hasn’t felt it. As Joan Didion states, ‘Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it.’ (Didion, 2007 p. 188) Grief is not linear, grief cannot be cured, it simply evolves as we do. Grief is not a feeling of deep sorrow, it is a change. A new state of being.
It is this state that has been foregrounded in All the things unsaid- a body of work that acknowledges the transformative power of grief.
The portraits of my family, from whom I have spent a decade estranged— my mother, brother, niece and nephew (the past) accompany images of my husband and beloved animals (the present). These images are combined with landscapes that hold significant meaning in my personal history. Through photographing these subjects the work becomes an expression of identity and how grief reshapes it.
Morganna Magee’s photobook All the Things Unsaid is a sublime psychological investigation of deep and dark psychological processes and the capacity of the camera to facilitate healing. Magee’s transcendent images of forest and animal familiars provide succour that supports the viewer to absorb the unyielding gaze of family allowing each other to be seen again. - Dr Alison Bennett RMIT University