Matt Borkowski is a Brooklyn, NY based photographer focused on minimalism and environmental portraiture. Matt is currently pursuing printed publication, exhibition, and commissioned opportunities. His extensive artistic background includes work in graphic and web design, fashion, and literature.
A little less than a year ago, I took a trip with my father to go see my grandmother. She lives in South Carolina, far away from her native northeast home of Connecticut and my home of Brooklyn, so I don’t get to see her all that often. I was fortunate enough to be able to spend time with her this holiday season for Christmas and New Years while she visited with my dad. I coincidentally was able to finally dedicate enough time to completing a small project documenting her day to day life that had been shot during my visit to her home and I felt incredibly motivated to share it with people. I captured these photos in order to honor my grandmother and to be able to have a reminder of a person who helped make me who I am today. The series is titled “Time Passes Slowly.”
Each of the photographs in this series holds a special place in both mine and my grandma’s hearts. The shark and banner have been around for as long as I can remember, and really well before I was born. My grandfather, or my papa, caught this behemoth years ago and transported it all the way from Florida to Connecticut to hang above the mantle in his den. Long after this when he and my grandma relocated to his World War II era haunt of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the shark made the journey too. I can always remember this artifact and, in fact, my grandma and I were just talking about it this past weekend. It reminds us both of my papa, and I think that’s why it’s so special to my family. The sailor’s prayer banner below it was hung right above my papa’s basement bar in their Connecticut home. And what better place to hang it their new home than with an old friend?
Some of the other shots show my grandma making some delicious food (probably chicken cutlet), something she’s long had a knack for. Her cheesecake is so incredible that anybody would try to steal the recipe if they had a bite! You can see some old photographs on the counter behind her in one of the images. She likes to keep photos of my papa, dad, and me around to always remind her who she thinks of and loves.
I took a few photos of my grandma’s hands; she still wears her and my papa’s wedding ring. When my papa passed away, it took a lot for my grandma to be able to make sense of the situation at hand and to carry on in South Carolina, a state that she has only called home for the slightest portion of her life. My grandma is a fighter though (in every sense of the word) and she continues to make the best of things. I really miss having her live close to me.
The last photo shows some of the random items laying around my grandma’s house. The sailor head is another family relic; I can’t remember a time when this wasn’t in my grandparents’ house. I guess we hang onto these things to remember some of the better times in life, and to remember to love, and laugh and live. That is what’s important to me and that’s why it was important for me to finish this project and share it.
To learn more about Matt and his work, please visit the following website: www.mattborkowski.com.