Maggie Steber’s exhibition is an intimate recording of her mother’s voyage over the melancholy sea of dementia. An only child of an only parent, Steber oversaw her mother’s care for nine years, sharing that voyage of being forgotten. She used photography as a therapeutic Tool to survive this longest goodbye. The fact that Steber never intended to share the work publicly makes the intimacy far more profound.
It was the surprise ending that changed her mind about exhibiting the work. Steber discovered the real Madje, not someone defined only by the role of mother, but the woman her mother was and always had been. As the walls between mother and daughter fell away, revealing unseen aspects of Madje’s character, a gift appeared: the gift of a last chance to love.
“To see who someone really is and was, and to be left with a heightened sense of appreciation can change one’s whole life experience,” Steber observes. “This was something I had not expected and it was a remarkable legacy, the most important Legacy left to me by my mother…..a last chance to really see someone, a last chance to love.”