On the 5th of August 2010, at twenty-nine years, Chris ended his own life. Husband to Alana, my cousin, he was family. I’m not sure when exactly his depression first showed face. I never knew him any different. Highly intelligent, he was trapped within himself, a cage with no apparent way out. He fought for years; it was a front-row battle that lacked a level playing field. He spoke about it, you know, about the drugs that were supposed to make him feel ok, about his state of mind, about all the doctors. Often though he’d sit there in silence.
Chris loved many things, I wonder if silence was one of them. He loved Alana, nature, his dogs, the Simpsons. His Hilux, Nirvana, cigarettes. Dreamt of being a pilot, of doing other things.—Katrin Koenning
Austrailia-based photographer Katrin Koenning explores life, death, mourning and the act of letting go in her deeply personal solo show Dear Chris. The work combines three interchangeable components—everyday pictures from Chris’ childhood album, photographs of some of Chris’ objects kept by Alana, and photographs of places of significance to Chris—all working together to form his story. Dear Chris opens at Edmund Pearce Gallery in Melbourne, Australia on April 11th and will remain on view through May 4th.
The images shown here are an excerpt from the larger project.