Nadine Boughton

My Parents’ Patio

This project documents my parents in their Florida retirement home. What began as a series of photographs I made of them over several mornings in 1979 grew into a series spanning almost twenty years.

I was drawn to the sharp contrast of light and shadow, and the mix of natural and artificial worlds. Tropical plants explode alongside the faux world of pink stucco; sparkling fountains grace gated communities. This was my parents’ version of the American dream.

The project centered on the outdoor patio, a small stage set where I could be the “director.” I chose my parents’ clothing and set the scene, and they obligingly participated.

Among other goals in this work, I aimed to reveal the movement of time — the passing of a day and the passage of years. As the patio flora grew, my parents seemed to shrink, engulfed by deepening shadows.

Nadine Boughton
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