Relative Moments, a series I began in 1986 and continue to work on, chronicles ordinary moments of my extended family’s activities. I am interested in the significance of the commonplace routine of their lives—the personal moments that define for each of us a sense of home, security, and belonging.
I began by photographing my parents’ home in Iowa. It was a personal documentary effort, starting when my parents sold the house we lived in when I was a child. They moved, and subsequently I realized that their new house was now home. So I took pictures of that. My scope expanded as I started taking pictures of my aunts and uncles and their houses and yards. After my son was born, he appeared in the images too.
Although the project started out as nostalgia and documentation, I discovered that the pictures comment on more: a glimpse into an intimate detail of an everyday world that otherwise might go unnoticed. This project captures a visual history of one family’s life, yet I feel there is an ongoing narrative embedded in these photographs that conveys larger, more universal truths about American culture, familiarity, and the endless source of everyday wonder that surrounds us.
The black and white images are from medium format film and are printed as fiber base silver gelatin prints, on 11x14 inch or 16x20 inch paper, editions of 25. Color images are cotton rag ultrachrome prints, various sizes, editions of 25.
Deanna Dikeman was born in Sioux City, Iowa, USA, in 1954. She has been an artist- photographer since 1985, when she left a corporate job to try a photography class. She has M.S. and B.S. degrees from Purdue University.
She photographs her family in Iowa and Nebraska in a body of work called Relative Moments. She has done a series of photographs of interior details of homes, Home Alone in the Middle of the Day. Her Wardrobe project includes photographs of old clothes in a thrift store and the Stephens College Historical Costume Collection. Other projects are Suburban Photographs, Lost Dog (posters of lost pets), Ballroom (ballroom dancers and their clothing in movement), and Lot Line (looking at the spaces between houses).
Her work is in the permanent collections of The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, Illinois; The Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, Missouri; The Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, Arizona; The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, Kansas; and the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Sedelia, Missouri.
In 2008, she was awarded the $50,000 United States Artists Booth Fellowship. She received the Aaron Siskind Foundation Individual Photographer’s Fellowship in 1996. Other honors include a 2006 Charlotte Street Foundation Fellowship in Kansas City, and the Art Omi International Artists Residency in Ghent, NY. She is represented by Haw Contemporary in Kansas City, Missouri. You can see more of her work here.