Skip to Content
Ellen Seidell: Bittersweet Nostalgia

Bittersweet Nostalgia

Ellen Seidell

Since the day that my younger brother Bryce could voice an opinion, it was evident that we didn’t get along. Days at home and even vacations consisted of mindless arguments that drove my mother mad. This constant rivalry lasted until I was sixteen years old. By that point, we finally reached a level ground and occasionally enjoyed one another’s company, which was a big step for both of us. So, after having endless memories of us wanting to kill each other for ten years, I was surprised to discover in college that my mother had managed to capture only loving, happy images amidst this chaos we created. She had boxes upon boxes of pictures showing so many “good” times, but when Bryce and I look upon these photographs, we see well disguised emotions and fake smiles.

I found it fascinating how my mother was able to mask such negative moments with the lens of a camera. Bryce and I chose the most prominent images that shaped our childhood and through a sort of therapeutic method, I painted each one, adding the addition of tabs that can be opened to reveal the true nature of the memories defining our relationship.