Grandparents of Mine by Maeve Mugglebee

Grandparents of Mine

by Maeve Mugglebee

AUF Photography Student

As an ode to the abandoned grandchild, to the grandparents who were there, and everything in between, I am exploring the people who should hold their place. There is a disconnect, for me, between me and my grandparents, due to distance apart, intense family drama, degeneration, and premature death. The role of having someone in my life that is of another generation, beyond my parents’ generation, has been unfulfilled. Despite today’s political divide between generations, I find it significant to have someone older, almost as mentor, in life. 

Combined with the lack of that mentor figure, and the emotional loss and detachment of that part of the common family structure, I find myself looking for my grandparents everywhere. I watch older people walk in the street and wonder who they are, the significance of each wrinkle in their face, their existence at their stage in life. Even outside of my own family, the American way is to put our older generation away, to send them to homes and facilities where they are left, ignored, and forgotten. A beautiful aspect of my time in Italy has been to see that same forgotten generation, outside of their homes, taking walks, riding bikes, getting a coffee, socializing, and being an active part of society. This project is a portrait series dedicated to these people, to my own grandparents, and to the unresolved grandchild inside me.

Maeve Mugglebee is a 22 year-old photographer studying at the American University of Florence. Originally from Los Angeles, California, Maeve spent her childhood doing performing arts and discovered her passion for photography at the age of 13. She spent two years in Seattle, Washington working towards a double degree in International Studies and Photography and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, decided to continue her education abroad. In 2021, she moved to Florence to pursue a Career Certificate in Visual Communications with a specialization in Photography. Her work has gone from simple everyday shots to concert photography and portraiture, to travel and landscape photography, and she now continues to practice photography across all disciplines.