At Gallery 525, Studies in Photography will be selling copies of Indre Hilara Bylaite’s book The Last Beekeeper. The photo series was made during her MA at the Glasgow School of Art in Communications Design – Photography where she learned how to tell stories through photography, and with it Indre won 1st and 3rd place at FLOW photofest in Inverness this year. The series was born of a trip home to see her mother and father while thinking and researching the subject of memento mori and grief.
Indre split The Last Beekeeper into five chapters: The Last Beekeeper, His wife, His family home, Her family home and Indre’s family home. Her grandparents on both sides have passed away and their homes now sit empty, but unwilling or unable to sell them they remain in family possession. The homes are now in different stages of dilapidation as they were abandoned at different times. The departure of Indre’s family from these homes are traumatic tales of violent and unexpected death and forced evacuation; the photographs made in them have an eerie quality, though they do not explicitly evoke these traumas.
Indre made a decision not to include an essay in this book – she doesn’t even want to to state where the houses are – instead she hopes that we will interpret these images from pulling on our own memories and locating them within our personal experiences to tell a shared story of family; children watching their parents age and losing grandparents.
Various themes emerge through this beautiful photo series including loss, religion, the beauty of nature, hard work, joy, ageing populations and agricultural communities, sustainability and every day life.
It was amazing to hear about Indre’s family history and the powerful and unexpected story behind these photographs. We have invited her to come and give a talk at Gallery 525 to give you a chance to hear it too!
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