We all have a shoebox or an album filled with old photos, slides, or negatives. Browsing through them brings back the memories and makes us relive them. Photographer Catherine Panebianco incorporated these old memories into new ones. She used her father’s old slides and incorporated them into new photos, creating visually interesting, but also deeply nostalgic images.
Catherine named the series No Memory is Ever Alone, and she describes it as a visual conversation between her dad and herself. “He used to bring out a box of slides that he photographed in his late teens and early 20s every Christmas and made us view them on an old projector on our living room wall telling the same stories every year,” Catherine writes. “It was a consistent memory from a childhood where we moved a lot and I never felt like I had a steady ‘place’ to live and create memories.”
These childhood memories found their place in her adult life and her photographic work. She incorporates them in her current life and the landscape that surrounds her. In this process, Catherine doesn’t use Photoshop. She prefers finding the right location and physically adding the slide to create the composition. “Part of the process that was necessary for me was to find the right location and feel my dad’s slides united with how I live today – a place within a place, a memory within a memory,” she writes.
No Memory is Ever Alone is Catherine’s way to connect her life with her dad’s. A lot of the slides show her mom, who recently passed away. She and Catherine’s father were together for almost 60 years, and this backstory gives another layer of nostalgia and emotion to the project. “I feel like her spirit, and all the spirits of the past, are around us,” Catherine explains. “These little vignettes of family life in my current ‘space’ comforts me that she and others are still near, watching over me. They create a ‘home’ for me wherever I go.”