Karuna Krishna: Memory

Karuna Krishna, photography, Tony Ward Studio, Memory, portraiture, child portraiture, memory, color photography

Posted on May 21, 2015 by Karuna Krishna

I got my first camera when I was 21. My photographs captured what caught my eye, subject to the tyranny of the perfect smile. Now, I think of photography as painting. I enjoy shaping the image to bring out the key story, while looking for a special movement which allows the photographs to expand past the meaning on the surface. It all comes together when the photograph is able to trigger a memory of our human condition.

Memory: coverage in three acts

“I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realises an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don’t have complete emotions about the present, only about the past.”
― Virginia Woolf

Karuna Krishna, Tony Ward Studio, Photography, abstract photography, black & white photography

Memory is fleeting. It is the past, yet it is fluid in the present. It has remarkable tenacity sometimes, but whole swathes of yesterday are forgotten in an instant. It helps to make the person we are today, and yet, it is a servant to what we need. It changes in the act of telling, each time.

Karuna Krishna, Photography, Tony Ward Studio, black & white Photography, Upenn Photography, children, memory

Judith, a teacher, is beloved by her students. Now retired, her life is full. Surrounded by things, each gifted, she treasures the memories they hold. The photograph of her father walking with an unknown child hangs outside her bedroom at the heart of the house. Judith comes back to this picture all the time. His undivided listening and belief in finding something special in each person, is the tenet with which she gives her time.

Alzheimers, Karuna Krishna, Photography, Tony Ward Studio, UPenn Photography, aging women, memory

Ivy’s mother sits elegantly in the yard.   The absence of her husband is strongly felt.

alzheimer patients

Karuna Krishna, Photography, Alzheimer's Disease, memory, Upenn Photography, Tony Ward Studio,popular culture

The act of photography creates memory. Places, forgotten in passing, are now memorialized and take on a new resonance. Judith and Ivy’s mother are part of my history, already taking on a new dimension as I write.


Karuna Krishna, Photography, Tony Ward Studio, Alzheimers disease

Photography and Text by Karuna Krishna, Copyright 2015


About the Author: Karuna Krishna is the director of Creative Services, Marketing Communications at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. To read additional articles by Karuna Krishna, go to the search bar at the bottom of the page: type in author’s name, click the search icon. To learn more about Karuna Krishna, click here: http:karunakrishna.com

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