We Came As Children (2017)

Rolf George Herbert John Kaack (1927-2016) was born into a Jewish family in Hamburg, Germany. In 1939, he became part of the Kindertransport and fled to England as a refugee before the outbreak of the second world war, where he eventually settled down. My Grandpa was an optometrist and being fascinated by light and glass, took up photography as a hobby. Alongside this, he was an avid sailor and a lover of classical music. I celebrated my fifth birthday with my Grandpa in 2000 - that was the last time I ever saw or heard from him. My only memory of us, is together at Frensham Pond, a place where he would sail regularly. He promised me that one day when I was older, we would go sailing together.

In 2015, Grandpa began to lose his memory and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. The following year, I visited England but he had passed away. I sat down in the dining room and went through three boxes of colour slides. Three boxes of memories that had been kept for me to discover. I never knew my Grandpa, but I know him through his photographs. This work is a combination of archival images and my own images from England, the place of my birth and childhood, and a place where my Grandpa found refuge as a child. The project is an exploration of home and memory that facilitates photography as a medium to document and preserve.