On her 15th birthday Carrie Levy was waiting at home in hope for her father's return. He didn't make it. At the time he was being sentenced to prison for four years. Here she charts the years of his absence from their lives through her camera, as the void he left is filled with memories and reminders of him, compounded by his absence, from the empty garden, to the road trip to the prison five hours away.
It took a year for Carrie Levy to grasp the consequences, the significance, of that day. At school her story was a jewel of gossip - the sidelong glances, the whispers, the outright glares. But she worked hard, and left a half a year early to escape her own prison. She picked up her camera. With the glimmering dark glass between her and her life, she began to photograph the empty spaces in her home, on the road, outside the prison (her mother would make the 10-hour round trip almost every weekend), in her pointless garden.
But it was not pointless. These pictures are redolent of loss, of vacant landscapes and interiors that appear to be meaningless but as a whole sing a narrative song of those four years, like Carson McCullers's sentences which, when dissected, add up to no more than nouns, verbs and adjectives, or the brushstrokes of Impressionist painting.
It is a singular story, and one that stopped when her father came home in March, 2000. She spoke to her father for 15 minutes about his crime. It has not been mentioned since. Four months later, in June, Carrie Levy closed the lid of the suitcase under her bed that contained the 500 images she had taken.