Sponsored by

Sara Fahling Explores the Aftermath of Loss with Fabric and Photography

Posted by on February 20, 2018 | Student Photography


Indiana University MFA student Sara Fahling‘s thesis tackles a variety of subjects: death, family, grief, acceptance and experimentation, to name a few. The body of work titled Unmended is, she writes, “an exploration of familial legacy in the aftermath of loss.”

The work merges photographs of her grandparent’s home with fabrics in an intimate and meaningful way. The photographs are printed directly on the fabrics—cotton and silk organza—and mended with “pensive stitching as a metaphor for loss,” she writes. “The accumulated stitches obscure and repair parts of the photographs, serving as a metaphor for how memories can become altered and indistinct when revisited.” For Fahling, the use of texture to blur the image is similar to the way memories fade with time. “The layering of textiles, photographs, and thread makes the images less legible, confusing time and space, and illustrating the fragile and impressionable nature of memory.”

Fahling’s work won the Innovation in Photographic Image Award from the Society for Photographic Education, which earned her a scholarship to offset the cost of attending SPE’s 2018 annual conference in March 2018, in Philadelphia.