204 Aaron Lemle


The world my grandmother paints is very different from the world in which I live. She grew up in Georgia and paints pictures of a South that is slowly disappearing: tobacco barns, barefoot farming children, quaint country churches. I grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan: taxi cabs, subways, apartment buildings. I was immensely proud to be from New York and less so of my southern heritage. Over the past two years, however, I have been working as a television producer and have slowly begun to realize how much my southern side of my family informs my work. In her basement studio in Atlanta, my grandmother paints stories. This visual storytelling was passed down to my mother, who’s medium of choice is quilting. My mother makes story quilts to communicate with audiences who don’t speak English. Her quilts are like storyboards for a film; they are a visual representation of a narrative. My work is just a continuation of their work. I tell stories, just with cameras instead of paint or fabric. This paintbrush, which she gave me on a recent trip, reminds me of southern storytelling heritage, which now makes me immensely proud.