Dana Stirling - CACHE

Sunday Spotlight — June 2, 2019

Photographer: Dana Stirling

Project: Cache

Artist Statement: Growing up in a small town in Israel to a British family was a challenge. We spoke English at home, yet everyone in school and most of the kids spoke Hebrew with their parents. School events that included parents were awkward, and filled with me moderating and bridging between the cultures. Yet, I didn’t relate to or understood either culture; aside from having a birth certificate to both Israel and England, I wasn’t really a part of either.

So, I grew up in my room, by myself, for hours and days and years. I never felt comfortable in any situation or in any place. I felt alone, isolated and unmotivated. With all that, my family dynamics have never been easy as growing up with a clinically depressed mother was a strain on us all – and each family member endured it in various ways. For me, it made me mainly angry and impatient with my Mother – I was snappy and unforgiving most of the time.

Depression has always been a part of my identity – I was born into it and never had a choice to avoid it. I have to always tell myself not to allow my depression to get the best of me because I’ve seen what it can do first hand. And I wanted to do better. I wanted to be better. 

It wasn’t until I discovered photography that I actually found an outlet for these feelings. It was a way for me to explore what family association means, and this is why I am interested and maybe obsessed with found family snapshots. Photographing still lives around my home was a way to translate into words what I could never write down on paper. To some, taking a banana peal and spreading it open to photograph it might seem strange but for me it was a way to express my boredom, anxiety, and overall state of mind at the time. 

Cache is a project I made dealing with these feelings and using found family photos, from our family’s archive, and my own photography to try and piece together a narrative that I was comfortable with – my own story, my own history. - Dana Stirling

Dana Stirling is a still life and fine art photographer, and the Co-Founder & Editor In-Chief of Float Photo Magazine. In addition, she is an editor at Aint-Bad magazine and a contributing writer for Lenscratch. Dana was born in Jerusalem, Israel, and is now based in Queens, NY; she received her MFA from The School Of Visual Arts in Photography, Video, and Related Media in 2016 and her BA from Hadassah College Jerusalem in Photographic Communications in 2013. Stirling’s work has been exhibited internationally including Fresh Paint Art Fair in Tel Aviv, UNICEF Next Generation Photo Benefit at Aperture Foundation NY, “A Process - Der Greif” in Neue Galerie, Höhmannhaus Germany, Google photography Prize at Saatchi Gallery London UK, Brick Lane Gallery, London UK and Tel Hai Museum of Photography Israel. Some press includes the Lensculture, FeatureShoot, It’s Nice That, Musee’ Magazine, Petapixel, Hyperallergic, Blow Photo website and others. Her handmade book is part of the library collections at Yale University Library, Mass Art College of Art and Design, Savannah College of Art and Design, and the Goldsmith University, London. 

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