Collections from Sundown records the later years of Lucas’ grandmother’s life, Amelia Needle, who lived with Alzheimer’s disease for eleven years. The use of the term sundown refers to both Sundowner’s Syndrome, a behavioral expression of Alzheimer’s, and the metaphor for the end of life. Symptoms of the syndrome include increased confusion, and the collection and packing of belongings, as if in preparation for a perceived trip. Lucas’ still-life photographs chronicle a daily record of what Needle collected, as well as groupings of notes written over a period of several years. Both the collection of items and notes serve as the evidence of change accompanying her disease, and resonate the repetition experienced by a person with Alzheimer’s as well as a methodology of remembering. Lucas’s archival gesture makes collaborative space for both the transitional journey of a grandmother passing on and a eulogy of lingering love and loss by and for the people and materials left behind.
Kija Lucas is an artist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She uses photography to explore ideas of home, heritage and inheritance. She is interested in how ideas are passed down and seemingly inconsequential moments create changes that last generations. Her work has been exhibited at Oakland Museum of California, Anglim Gilbert Gallery, Headlands Center for the Arts, San Francico Arts Commission Galleries, California Institute of Integral Studies, Palo Alto Arts Center, Intersection for the Arts, Mission Cultural Center, and Root Division, as well as Venice Arts in Los Angeles, CA, La Sala d’Ercole/Hercules Hall in Bologna Italy, and Casa Escorsa in Guadalajara, Mexico. Lucas has been an Artist in Residence at Montalvo Center for the Arts, Grin City Collective, and The Wassaic Artist Residency. She is a member of 3.9 Art Collective and the Curatorial Council at Southern Exposure. Lucas received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and her MFA from Mills College.