In the summer of 1996, I began a book called Letter to Vico E, a
collection of photographs of my mother's hometown, Vico Equense,
that span more than 50 years.
My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer in September 1996. By
October, it had spread to her brain. We were in shock. Rosa, our
powerful mother, went from happily running after my 4-year-old in the
garden to exhaustion only two months later. I couldn't work. I was
drawn to her side every day. When I did go to my studio, it was to
work on this book. I started to make this book before she was ill
and, strangely enough, it is all about her. It begins and ends with
Working on this book was my therapy. I would go to the studio and
cut out photos of my mother meticulously, making page after page. By
the time my mother died, I had 10 handmade books. We brought them to
the funeral parlor to share with everyone who loved her.