For the Austerity and Prosperity project I am planning on heading up to Edinburgh to go and visit my Great Aunt Julie-Ann Macqueen. She lives in Stockbridge, one of the wealthiest areas of Scotland’s capital. She has lived in her three storey town house for as long as my mother can remember and it still looks pretty much exactly the same as it did when she young. Most of the rooms contain bookshelves jam packed with books that she has read, but is no longer able to read. Every time we go to visit she tells us to take as many books as we can, she is very keen for us to b educated and believes that reading books is the beat way to go about it. Whenever we go to visit Julie-Ann is always willing to share with us stories of her childhood growing up in India and Egypt with her two brothers and her parents, however often we are not there for long enough to hear these stories in more detail, so I’m looking forward to having the time to listen.
Julie-Ann has lives alone with no children, she has carers come three times a day to bring her breakfast, lunch and dinner and also to help her with getting washed and dressed. I am interested in photographing her and her home because I would like to learn more about her and her life. She is certainly more towards the ‘prosperity’ end of the spectrum, however her wealth is not immediately obvious and she invests a lot of it supporting charities, particularly areas of education such as Edinburgh University and The National Portrait Gallery.
I think that she will be an interesting subject to photograph and I have the advantage of being a family member and therefore (I hope) she will be comfortable with my presence and happy for me to photograph her and her everyday life. I want to photograph the simple things, such as her books, photo albums, picture frames, shoes, meals and the contents of her cupboards and see how these things reflect her and her place in society.