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A Case Of You

Lee Kilpatrick | United States

Divorced, 2009

My sister died at the beginning of 2014 after a short illness. Her death was unexpected, but not surprising. For the previous 30 years, she had experienced mental health issues and related alcoholism. When she was 12, her Raggedy Ann doll began telling her that she was worthless and a bad person; around this time she started drinking.

These photographs span the second half of her life, including her difficult last eight years. At holiday gatherings, she often exhibited quiet disconnection and unease due to some combination of paranoia, depression, alcohol and mind-clouding medication. She rarely went out in public. These photos show how small her world had become, a situation that, despite my family's hopes, never improved.


Lee Kilpatrick is a fine art photographer and the director of the Washington Street gallery and studios in Somerville, MA. His primary focus is documentary candids in both digital and film. His work usually depicts people in everyday but intimate situations; the subjects seem to be in their own private worlds, conscious of neither the camera nor themselves. Along with conventional formats, he also uses panoramic photography, presenting a closer view of the subject set in a wide view of the environment.

Kilpatrick’s bodies of work have ranged from “Backyard BBQs and Other Social Gatherings,” documenting people being alone together, to “Splendid Isolation: Late Summer in Northern Maine,” portraying the agricultural area where he grew up. In addition to showing at Washington Street, he has exhibited at the Willoughby & Baltic gallery in Somerville, contributed to group shows in the Boston Metro area, and spoken on a panel about the photography of everyday life at the Mary Baker Eddy Library. He was the ARTSomerville artist of the month in January 2006. His work is in private collections throughout New England.

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