Sarah Whitten

Means Something to Someone

Means Something to Someone portrays a tale on interpersonal relationships between family members, the struggles that one faces when trying to exceed and fulfill the expectations of those closest to us, and the connections that exist among trauma and self. In this body of work, family archival photographs, personal ephemera and other various items are juxtaposed with images taken over the last nine months — showing the tension(s) that exist between the past and present. Our environments play a large role in articulating who we are and what we wish to say about ourselves and the world around us. Means Something to Someone delves into the private lives of my family members while also enabling me to make sense of the complexities of relationships and family dynamics. In putting forth the idea that things are much more convoluted than they appear from afar, these photographs come together to reveal ordinary, day-to-day moments that show the familial unease felt at my childhood home. When one takes a closer look, clues come into view that allow for a nuanced narrative to unfold.