After both of my parents passed away in 2010, I felt compelled to diverge from my long-running theme of money as metaphor—and, using loss and grief as my teachers, went on to explore value in a more direct, visceral way. After the funeral, as I cleaned their home, I discovered boxes and boxes' worth of albums and framed photographs of my parents and their relatives and friends.
Both of my parents had passed away within four months of each other, and the aftershock of this loss changed me. As I looked through their collections of photographs, I was struck by curiosity: Who were the people in these pictures? Am I like any of them? Who were my parents when they were young? How did their DNA meld together to eventually create me?
Thus began my journey into memory, real and imagined. But I found that engaging in a visual dialogue with my ancestors required a variation in my usual style: instead of reflecting the minute details of currency through a series of tiny dots, I literally had to take a step back to reflect the personalities and stories I imagined seeing in these pictures. And so I began to transform color and light—block by block, mosaic by mosaic, rather than dot by dot.
— Jenna Lash