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Ryan Kukalis Searches for the Meaning of Home in the Wake of Hurricane Irma

Posted by on February 6, 2018 | Student Photography

The idea of home is complicated even in the best of circumstances. When a natural disaster occurs, homes are destroyed, and people are forced to rebuild a concept that is not easy to grasp in the first place.

Capturing what constitutes a home interests Ryan Kukalis, who is currently receiving his BFA at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

In the wake of Hurricane Irma last fall, Kukalis traveled to southwest Florida, where his parents recently moved. There, he found a landscape full of destruction.

“Everyone’s homes were uplifted and destroyed, and in their place were now mobile homes, trailers, little sheds, etc,” he told PDNedu. “I wondered what defined one’s ‘home’ as these people had to start from scratch while still working their boats, cleaning the disaster, and building their families.”

From the wreckage, Kukalis created a series, “Shaken Loose.”

“The ability to recreate oneself and discover the flexible nature that is ‘home’ was what allowed these people to move on and remake their communities, trading ‘place’ of belonging with a broader ‘sense’ of belonging,” he says.

Below is a selection of images from the series. For more of Ryan’s work, visit his website. All images © Ryan Kukalis.

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