Katia Dermott

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Self-identity is relational. We continually grow in concert with and in reaction to our surroundings. Fallen Branches Weigh More Than The Trees speaks to the labors of self- discovery during unexpected change. It tells the story of two women—connected by blood, separated by years—as they negotiate their identities in the isolation of rural Maine. In a post-divorce household, my mother seeks reinvention while my sister navigates the convergence of adolescence and adulthood. Behind the curtain of contemporary pressures for public performance and social media, these two women walk parallel paths en route to understanding who they are.

Discovery of self-identity is a universal pursuit; I photograph my mother and my sister as a way of focusing on the personal. I am drawn to their power, resilience, and vulnerability. These traits subsist in tandem with the surrounding land.

In the wake of shifting relationships marred by toxic codependency and alcoholism, my mother and my sister begin an emergence from where they have been. This series explores my mother, my sister, and the land as interconnected—mirroring one another’s losses and sharing in the healing to come.

“For me, living is the same thing as dying, and loving is the same thing as losing, and this does not make me a madwoman; I believe it can make me better at living, and better at loving, and, just possibly, better at seeing.” - Sally Mann, Hold Still
Fallen Branches Weigh More Than The Trees

Katia Dermott grew up on an organic vegetable farm; as each summer began, she found herself surrounded by a new crew of seasonal workers who sometimes lived as close as the room next door. Katia learned from and grew with the land as much as the people who farmed it.

Based in Maine, Katia uses photography, book making, and prose to create windows into worlds adjacent to where a viewer resides. Her work explores themes of loss and healing as it is reflected in family, land, and rural community. She received her BFA in photography from Maine College of Art & Design in 2022. In fall of the same year, Katia was named one of eighteen artists to watch by Maine Magazine.

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