Ellen Nolan ‘Previous Personality’

Having decided that documentary photography is the route I wanted to go down for this project I started focussing on photographers who used this type of photography to create their narrative.

After having a lecture and hearing Ellen talk about her work, her personal story ‘Previous Personality’ stood out to me. Her project explores her relationship to her mother as she develops dementia. Ellen explained in the lecture that for her it was a documentation that lasted 3 years over all, her mother started to forget that Ellen was her daughter when she started taking photos. 

Some interesting words to describe this documentation from Ellen that I found on her website say.. “Photography as a medium seemed to serve the situation well. It was a record to capture my dying mother, a means to examine our state, and perhaps to create an alternative family album.”

When looking at the images in the lecture I found myself to have an emotional attachment to her work, it was very powerful and the photographs really spoke for themselves.

Here’s some photographs from the series:



Ellen’s work has inspired me to change my idea completely..