Connor McKinney


I find it hard to recall memories from my childhood. Growing up, I presented myself much differently than the people around me. I mostly found myself content alone anyways, but I never really made any friends until much later on; my family were the only people I had around. While the household was not near evangelically conservative, I grew up catholic and my mother taught my religion classes. When I started expressing myself, I was a very flamboyant child, these traits were resented and repressed. I never felt encouraged or proud of myself while I watched my brother get on fine. I hadn’t developed a sense of identity and that caused me to involve myself in risky situations. I spent most of my childhood confused, hurt, and angry. Come today, my situation is far better than the past, but being stuck back in my home has left me with nothing but time to introspect and process my life as a whole while the family unit goes through the motions. Dad works, Mom cooks, and boys do school. It is all I can think about, therefore it is all I can make art about. I would like to narrate the tension and shame that I feel existing in the house that coexists with the sense of love and kinship that are provided by my family. While I love them dearly, there are elephants in every room of the house. I intend to convert these pages to InDesign, and create a book. The book would be viewed horizontally, flipping up from front to back. I would like to express the way I’m able to put together the past in my own head. I’m taking scans of photos from when I was quite young and juxtaposing them with some of my present work. Photographer Duane Michals was able to capture this similarly in his piece, “A Letter from My Father”. I’m particularly drawn to the very last line of text Michals wrote. “And I never did find that place where he had hidden his love”.  Of course, his personal situation differs greatly, he spent his whole life waiting for the ability to share in one, intimate, precious item with his father, yet never obtained it.