27 years of Goodbye: Deanna Dikeman’s Leaving and Waving

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This article was printed in the Then & Now issue of British Journal of Photography magazine, available for purchase through the BJP Shop or delivered direct to you with an 1854 Subscription.

Dikeman’s latest photobook illustrates 27 years of family

Deanna Dikeman’s Leaving and Waving, shortlisted for the 2020 Mack first book award, documents 27 years of goodbyes. With each image taken as the photographer departs from her parents’ Bungalow in Sioux City, Iowa, Leaving and Waving charts a loving exchange between a family for nearly three decades. “When I took the first photograph in 1991, I wasn’t thinking of this as a project,” Dikeman explains. “My parents were getting older, and you can never know when a goodbye could be the last one. The photographs turned into our departure ritual; pack suitcases into the car, do hugs and kisses, wave to each other, drive away.”

In 2009, Dikeman’s father passed away. His absence is felt in her photographs as her mother continued to wave goodbye for the following eight years, before she too passed in 2017. “I’m so pleased that I have this now, the ability to look back in time and see a younger Mom and Dad, happily waving to me with good wishes and smiles,” says Dikeman. After her mother’s funeral, Dikeman took one last photograph of the empty driveway. Leaving and Waving allows the reader to see the love between a family, witnessing not just the melancholic effects of time, age and goodbye, but the continuation of love, intimacy, and home. 

Isaac Huxtable

Isaac Huxtable joined the British Journal of Photography in October 2020, where he is currently the Editorial Assistant. Prior to this, he studied a BA in History of Art at the Courtauld Instititue of Art, London.