Deanna Dikeman: Leaving And Waving

For 27 years since 1991, Deanna Dikeman took photographs as she waved goodbye and drove away from visiting her parents at their home in Sioux City, Iowa. “I just took these photographs as a way to deal with the sadness of leaving. It gradually turned into our goodbye ritual.”

These photographs are from a larger body of work called Relative Moments, which has chronicled the lives of her parents and other relatives since 1986. When she discovered the series of accumulated “leaving and waving” photographs, she found a story about family, aging, and the sorrow of saying goodbye.

In the progression of the photographic narrative, we see seasons change from winter to spring and back again. Her son grows from an infant in a car seat to a young man at the steering wheel. As silent passengers, we accompany the photographer on her seasonal pilgrimages home, her camera marking the passage of time, aging and mortality with candor and affection. By the end, her lens has lost its subjects.

“In 2009, there is a photograph where my father is no longer there. He passed away a few days after his ninety-first birthday. My mother continued to wave goodbye to me. Her face became more forlorn with my departures. In 2017, my mother had to move to assisted living. For a few months, I photographed the goodbyes from her apartment door. In October of 2017 she passed away. When I left after her funeral, I took one more photograph, of the empty driveway. For the first time in my life, no one was waving back at me.”

Read an interview with Deanna Dikeman in Stir

About Deanna Dikeman
Deanna Dikeman was born in 1954 in Sioux City, Iowa, USA, and currently resides in Kansas City, Missouri. She has photographed her midwestern family and surroundings since 1985, when she left a corporate job to try a photography class. She has M.S. and B.S. degrees from Purdue University. She received an Aaron Siskind Foundation Fellowship in 1996, and the United States Artists Booth Fellowship in 2008. Since 1988, Deanna has had 23 solo shows and has been included in over 160 group shows. Her photographs have been public art projects in Kansas City, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; and Albany, New York. “A Photographer’s Parents Wave Farewell” was one of the top 25 stories of 2020 in The New Yorker.

Leaving and Waving 7/1991
Leaving and Waving 7/1991
Leaving and Waving 9/1996
Leaving and Waving 9/1996
Leaving and Waving 12/1998
Leaving and Waving 12/1998
Leaving and Waving 12/2003
Leaving and Waving 12/2003
Leaving and Waving 6/2005
Leaving and Waving 6/2005
Leaving and Waving 3/2006
Leaving and Waving 3/2006
Leaving and Waving 6/2015
Leaving and Waving 6/2015
Leaving and Waving 12/2015
Leaving and Waving 12/2015

Response: Resonance Opening Celebration + Screening

Join us on Saturday, January 28 for an opening celebration + screening for Response: Resonance.
This event is at capacity.
Please note this event is…

Meet Me At The Gallery: Seniors Program

Meet Me at The Gallery is a new daytime art program dedicated to enriching the lives of adults and seniors in our community with monthly get-togethers…

Kids First

Come get creative on the first Saturday and Sunday of the month with a day of art-making and fun. Kids First is an opportunity for families of all kinds to…

As We Rise Opening Celebration

Join us on Thursday, February 23 for the As We Rise Opening Celebration.
Click here to RSVP
Remarks at 7:30pm
Music by DJ Still Running
As We Rise:…