Family Origins addresses the history of my maternal grandparents and their experiences growing up in Mennonite and Amish homes. In recent years my artistic practice has been primarily focused on the exploration of personal and familial experiences, taking an introspective look into the history of events that have shaped my identity.
This project, consisting of a short video interview and still images, was made at my grandparent’s home in Cookstown, Ontario where they have lived for over 30 years. In the film, my grandparents share their personal stories of what it was like to live life in their communities and how it affected the trajectory of their lives. The still images accompanying the film are taken of my grandparents and their home where we spent time together passing on knowledge and recalling the past.
Having passed much time in their home myself, even living there for a year while my parents were between homes, the space holds sentimental value beyond words.
The act of creating this project and revisiting the familiar space of their home allowed for a heightened sense of self and a greater appreciation for, and pride in, my heritage.
Caeden Wigston is a Toronto-based photographer and visual artist who works primarily through analogue mediums. His recent work has focused on personal and family history, looking into the elements of his upbringing and examining how they have affected the way he creates and interprets the world around him.