As a minister, my father spent 35 years devoted to a life of faith and moral leadership. Six months before his retirement however, he quietly fell into a deep depression. The uncertainty of setting forth into a diminished role – no longer a leader of a large community and no longer safely within middle age – lead to his untethering. Hurt and embittered, I began to photograph him as a way to understand his current state and to try to construct a new relationship. Recording some events while staging others, the photographs became a way for me to explore the new man my father was becoming. Furthermore, the act of photographing him allowed me to intimately examine what happens to a man who has dedicated his life to forging an identity and then suffers its loss.
Martha Fleming-Ives is a photographer based in New York City. She is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Honors Program at the School of Visual Arts.
Artist’s Website: marthaflemingives.com