In Gratitude; Food and family by Rohina Hoffman

In Gratitude is an homage to food and family. Created during the pandemic, it is a series of portraits of myself, my husband, and my three children showcasing the items that we use to produce our daily meals.

In Gratitude is an homage to food and family. Created during the pandemic, it is a series of portraits of myself, my husband, and my three children showcasing the items that we use to produce our daily meals.

Inspired by Pablo Neruda’s Elemental Odes, I included my own poetry to celebrate and memorialize the everyday. 

Prior to Covid-19, I was ambivalent about cooking.  I sometimes viewed it as a chore to even think about what to create, and at other times I relished the opportunity to make a beautiful near-gourmet meal.  But what lay behind my desire was to be the perfect parent. This was often thwarted with the reality of schedules, work, and external demands.

Covid-19 changed the way I approached our dinners. They became the highlight of our day and I was more thoughtful in my shopping and preparing. Perhaps if I could at least nourish my family, then somehow, we could be safe. 

Despite the uncertainty and fear we feel because of the pandemic, it has enabled me to see my gratitude more clearly, allowing me to honor the foods we eat through the creation of these portraits. I also learned to embrace the imperfections in myself so I could fully enjoy these moments before us.

In the words of MFK Fisher, “our three basic needs, for food, security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined, that we cannot straightly think about one without the others.”. 

About Rohina Hoffman

Rohina is a fine art photographer whose practice uses portraiture and the natural world to investigate themes of identity, home, women’s issues, and adolescence.Born in India and raised in New Jersey, Rohina grew up in a family of doctors spanning three generations. While an undergraduate at Brown University, Rohina also studied photography at the Rhode Island School of Design and she was a staff photographer for the Brown Daily Herald. A graduate of Brown University Medical School and resident at UCLA Medical Center, her training led to a career as a neurologist.

A skilled observer of her patients, Rohina was instilled with a deep and unique appreciation of the human experience. Her ability to forge the sacred trust between doctor and patient has been instrumental in fostering a parallel connection between photographer and subject.Rohina published her first monograph Hair Stories with Damiani Editore (February 2019) accompanied by a solo exhibition at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School. Her monograph, Hair Stories, is held in many public collections and university libraries.

Her photographs have been exhibited in juried group shows both nationally and internationally in venues such as The Center for Fine Art Photography, Griffin Museum, Colorado Photographic Arts Center, Los Angeles Center for Photography, Photo LA,  and A. Smith Gallery. She has received numerous awards and has been published in Marie Claire Italia, F-Stop Magazine, The Daily Beast, Lenscratch, Shots Magazine, and Edge of Humanityamong others. She lives with her husband, three children and two golden retrievers in Los Angeles. [Official Website]

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