Kaitlyn Church (born 1997) is an Australian based emerging documentary photographer and photojournalist. She utilizes her upbringing in regional Australia as a source of inspiration for her photographic work. She is primarily interested in creating long-form new documentary photographic work, where the photographer is not merely a silent observer, but is an integral part of the project, either as protagonist or narrator. She has developed a keen interest in the photobook format, specifically exploring how the book as a medium can be utilized to tell photographic stories in a captivating and intimate manner.
Systems of Measurement
Leonard John Church was born in Cohuna, Victoria, in 1927 and was the youngest of 14 children. He grew up on Gunbower Island and after leaving school at 13 he traveled across Victoria working odd jobs. After his Father’s death in 1944, Leonard decided to move to Melbourne. On his way there, he stopped in Castlemaine to visit Mavis his older sister and only intended only to stay for a few days but was offered a job at the local woolen mills and this is where my grandparents eventually met. Later, he went on to work as a linesman for the State Electricity Commission of Victoria. Although Leonard only intended to stay for a short period, Bonnie and Leonard married and raised their three children in Castlemaine.
The few memories of my Grandfather I have remaining have been distorted with the passing of time. Much like my family photo archive they are often blurry, fading and fragmented. After my Grandmother passed away as a result of a brief battle with dementia, the task of cleaning the home they shared was left to their remaining family.
During this process of sorting through a lifetime worth of mementos, a series of diaries were discovered gathering dust in the back of a cupboard. These diaries have given valuable insight into what Leonard’s life was like. These books include detailed descriptions of his day to day life, reflections on his life and childhood, biographies of his parents and all 13 of his siblings, as well as his innermost thoughts about his then-impending death. These diaries have safeguarded memories that would have otherwise died along with my Grandfather.
On the surface, these diaries measure the passing of time, they document current affairs and family activities, and they mark out the monthly rainfall – textual systems of measurement that have enabled me to connect with him in his absence.
To view more of Kaitlyn Church’s work please visit her website.