Birthe Piontek, from the series Abendlied, 2018

Birthe Piontek, Ghost (from the series Abendlied), 2018

Recently announced as the winner of Edward Burtynsky Award, this image belongs to a deeply personal new work, by German-born, Canada-based Birthe Piontek. Piontek’s mother suffers from dementia (an umbrella term for neurological illness that affects the brain progressively) which forced her parents to move out of their home of forty years. Documenting her family in their last years while visiting what was once her childhood home, the images are both playful and wistful, meditating on what it means to grow old, move on and let go; how we shape our homes and how we are shaped by them, materially and mentally—as shown in this image, Ghost. Abendlied will be published as a book in 2019, and is also presented at the Guernsey Photography Festival, (September 20—October).