Peyton Keeler-Cox: Need Me

Artist Statement

Need Me uncovers a relationship between two generations, coming together in a time of need for each other, physically and emotionally. Through documentary style the viewfinder illustrates the caring and traditional action of hair cutting to bond two people who quietly need one another in a time of loneliness. A grandfather and grandson longing for re-connection.


Describe how you envision the end result of your project. If it is a work in progress please indicate your planned completion date.

Describe how you envision the end result of your project. If it is a work in progress please indicate your planned completion date I want these images to engage the space they are shown within and create an experience to navigate through, much like the concept behind this series.

I hope to do this through a mixture of framed, float mount and hanging images. I would love for my images to resonate with people who have struggled with fitting into the place they call home. Especially when that struggle is rooted in identity and forces much bigger than themselves.

What inspired you to create this project?

I was truly inspired by a phone call, I had with my granddad a week prior. He calmly expressed his longing for a visit, and his tiredness of being far away from us in a time where distance grew longer. During the pandemic at it’s height, my granddad grew even sadder being alone, this is a man who enjoys solitude. I remember him saying he missed my brother in a away he never missed him before, and I knew my brother did too. Two men quiet in their desires. I wanted to document them after time apart in a way that represents a physical and emotional need for connection, tradition, care, and tenderness.

Describe any challenges you faced creating this project, and the solutions that helped you to overcome these problems.

My biggest challenge was ensuring my presents through the images wasn’t seen or interrupted the documentation of my subject matter. Thus, I played the vital position and role as a fly on the wall to the environment, to honestly and mindfully allow their relationship to effortless come through to the forefront of the images with no pressures or substances of process, rather freedom of being within their presence.

What are you most proud of about this project?

I am most proud of being able to have documented a cherished moment between my grandfather and brother in away that makes you feel included in the conversation, but also present in my grandfathers out dated home without being recognized by them or drawing their gaze away from one another. Here I am proud of documenting an un- touched moment between them and for them, in away they will look back on and need.

Have you had any success getting your work out into the world? Do you have suggestions for other artists?

As of lately yes, but that all came with me finding my rhythm in my work and staying true to what I love taking photographs of. It’s so very easy getting involved in other artists successes and endeavours to feel envy or astray from your own. My little success all steamed from me staying true to the stories I want and feel passionate capturing and sharing, and stepping far away from comparing to others.

Peyton Keeler-Cox: She/Her

Peyton Keeler-Cox is a Toronto based documentary photographer whose work explores themes of memory, home, relationships, grief, and understanding. Her work in many manners activates the archive and investigates deeper feelings and truths beneath her personal relationships. 

Instagram: Peytonkeelercox