Third Year Projects

Peyton Keeler-Cox Cotton Sheets

2021, Chromogenic print, 11”x14”

Dear is a body of work that documents the life of a man who moved, loved, grew, lived, and died, through the halls and walls of his very home.

I was the girl who grew up across the street from Roy Burkett. A man who lived behind the yellow flowers and tall trees. He would wave at me when I was young as my hair flew in the wind and my bruised arms attempted to control my bike’s handlebars down our steep hill. Roy never failed to wave and smile. He never missed a silent wave all through my youth. It wasn’t until a couple years ago that our silent exchange turned into conversation over coffee in his living room. He moved from being my neighbour to being my friend. A cosmic relationship of sorts. He was 96, a widow, former Police Superintendent, World War 11 veteran, explorer, traveler, and wise voice.

It wasn’t until his last year of life, that his most delicate and soft parts would show. That’s when he would allow me to ask him anything, and wander freely down his halls. This was when he started calling me dear. The last night I saw him I dropped off baked goods, in hopes it would hug his sweet tooth just right. The last thing he said to me as I was walking out his front door was “Thank you, dear.” That following weekend was his last. I was the last person to see him alive. The last thing I said to him was “Thank you, my dear.”

Our homes truly become reflections of ourselves and the lives we live. A memory box of a love so rich and rare, and of a presence so powerful and radiant. Roy’s home now, showcases a home loved, lived in, cared for, rested, appreciated, and heard. These images now speak of a life so big and bold, so compassionate and kind, and of a home that lived a man and wife who loved and lived.

    Cotton Sheets