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Yellow Roses explores family tension throughout life and its continuance after death. Growing up there was conflicting emotions of both love and hate toward my paternal grandmother, and our relationship was built on both instinctual affection and rejection. The relationship lacked the desired comfort one yearns for in a family member and only remained out of responsibility. This work also examines the guilt that followed her death as well as how this relationship and these emotions continue to change and develop through her archive of private photographs, the stain of her memory, and the mending of clothing she left behind.
In modern culture, people are romanticized posthumously through funeral traditions that emphasize the positive characteristics and memories of a person. These traditions create both personal and internal struggle between obligation and animosity. Through the use of familial heirlooms and textiles, archival imagery, and specific attention to color and pattern, this emotional confliction is explored through creating comfort that was absent in an attempt to begin understanding her emotions, actions, and need for control.
Morgan Stephenson is a photographer currently living and working in Bloomington, Indiana. Raised predominately in the American South, she enjoys creating work that reflects her southern upbringing through the concepts of memory, value, and place.
Morgan has worked with non-profit organizations such as Memphis Heritage Inc. and the Memphis Grizzlies Foundation in helping with historic preservation and youth development. She recently completed her BFA in photography along with a minor in art history from the Memphis College of Art. She is currently furthering her education through the MFA program at Indiana University in Bloomington. Morgan is currently available for job opportunities as well as freelance and collaborative projects.