Julie Blackmon

I noticed Julie Blackmon’s work at The Beauty of the Line exhibition at the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland (my blog article about the exhibition is here).

According to her Wikipedia entry: Blackmon was born in 1966 in Missouri and her “photographs are inspired by her experience of growing up in a large family, her current role as both mother and photographer, and the timelessness of family dynamics. As the oldest of nine children and mother to three, Blackmon uses her own family members and household to “move beyond the documentary to explore the fantastic elements of our everyday lives”.

Julie Blackmon: Trapped, from Homegrown

Her images are fascinating, full of people and things in odd situations and bursting at the seams with narrative. The example above titled Trapped from the Homegrown series is a case in point. Our eyes are initially drawn to the cat in the middle of the frame and in a light area. The cat somehow looks a little annoyed. As our eyes move around the frame we quickly come across the round windows with contain the letters K C U F from left to right, but with each letter reversed as if written on the outside of what is clearly a garage. As we look further, we see a couple of skateboards and other things which we might think of as typical garage stuff and then we spot the piece of cardboard with the word “RESIST” written in red.

Clearly carefully staged, these images are no accident. I can image a Gregory Crewdson level of planning being required to ensure that everything is just right: the lighting, the arrangement of furniture and people, even pets on occasion. The more we look, the more we see and the overall impression is strongly of a story in motion, but the story itself remains out of reach. Truly worth a long look.




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