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For this project we were given a printout of a word that had to be cut out of black contact paper and photographed in an environment, keeping in mind context and audience. My word was “love.”

I thought a lot about love and what it means – what we think of when we hear the word, how we express it, the people and things we love – and realized that it’s a difficult concept to define. There are many more meanings and gradations of meanings assigned to the word than show up in the dictionary. I decided to focus on familial love, specifically love of a parent for a child or children.

How do parents show their children they love them? Hugs and kisses are obvious demonstrations, although lacking in families that eschew physical affection. So, what is something that might be a more universal display of love? The things we do for our children certainly express our love for them. When we grow up and move out on our own, the everyday actions we took for granted are the ones we miss the most. To that end, I decided clean laundry was a perfect example for my context of love. It could be argued that laundry gets done not out of love for someone, but because it has to be done. My thoughts on the subject are if you go to get dressed and find clean underwear in your drawer that you didn’t wash and fold, somebody loves you, whether you recognize it or not.

I have placed the letters of the word love to show that a parent’s love is encompassing and expansive, ideally unconditional. The outside edges of the “L” and “E” are a little blurry showing love is not perfect.