Photographer of the Week #84: Lisa Lindvay

Our select for this week is Lisa Lindvay, a Chicago-based photographer originally from Erie, PA. We’ve chosen to feature images from her ongoing eight year long series Hold Together—a comprehensive documentation of her immediate family’s complex experience with Lindvay’s mother’s mental health.

“I began making photographs of my father, two brothers and sister eight years ago when I moved away from my family for the first time to attend graduate school. My mother has always struggled with her mental health, and in 2006 she sunk into a deep depression causing our family to unravel. For almost three years my mother was a ghost of herself, often locked in her bedroom not to be bothered. Unable to care for herself and my young siblings, my father took guardianship of my brothers, who are not his biological children. This entropic time changed everything from our financial stability to our physical and mental health and understanding of ourselves. I felt an urgency to be at home. Making photographs was a reason for me to return; they were my way of understanding the complexities of our situation.

The photographs in Hold Together are glimpses into the lives of my family members and our homes. They depict our history and provide insight into our future. The images are of private moments shared between my father, sister, brothers, and myself in the absence of our mother. The photographs reveal the strength of my family’s bond as we come to terms with our ever-changing family dynamic. The images picture the experiences of my siblings as they transition into adulthood and my father’s struggles to hold everything together.

In a wider context, the photographs in Hold Together are a portrayal of the inner workings of the American family navigating its way through instability, financial adversity, and the growing pains of adolescence. While my story is specific, the themes resonate across diverse cultural and economic lines.”

Lindvay received her MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago in 2009 and BFA in Photography from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2005. Her work has been shown at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, the Hyde Park Art Center,  the Erie Art Museum and at the Turner Contemporary in England. She is the recipient of an Artadia Award, an Aperture Portfolio Prize, and a 3Arts Artist Award. Her work is also included in the Museum of Contemporary Photography’s Permanent Collection and several private collections.

For more from Lindvay, please take a look at her website.