Light is a distinct character in Kristen Bartley’s series, Flower Mound. It glows, invites, and evokes a range of sentiment. It identifies character and is indicative of Bartley’s fondness for her humble suburban muses. It is warm and calm. It allows her to record and remember. The contrasting shadow alludes to the weight of loss and the casualties of the passage of time—both memory and life. Bartley began making these photographs during a time of transition, when looking toward the past and where she grew up provided a sense of comfort. She is seeking to understand her personal history before those recollections fade, in a way similar to day fading into night.
Kristen is a photographer based in Brooklyn, NY. She grew up in a family of photographers but fell in love with the medium after taking an elective darkroom class at the University of Miami while pursuing a degree in advertising. After moving to New York City and immersing herself within the community at the International Center of Photography, she eventually abandoned a career on Madison Avenue for a life devoted to image making.
Kristen is currently working on self-publishing an artist book from her project “Flower Mound” which was recently featured in Fraction Magazine. Her work has been widely exhibited in New York City including group shows at Foley Gallery, Ilon Art Gallery, Brooklyn Grain, C’Mon Everybody, among others. In 2017 she was selected as Runner Up for Folofilmic’s Solo I Exhibition Award juried by Todd Hido. In 2018 she was shortlisted for Fotofilmic18 and selected as a Review Santa Fe 100 Photographer. She is also the founder of The Femme Foto Crit, a monthly critique group and co-founder of The Nudist Collective, a group of interdisciplinary female and non-binary artists.
Flower Mound borrows its title from the suburban Texas town where I grew up and frequently returned to as an adult while both of my parents were succumbing to separate battles with cancer. Throughout these years I was enveloped in a thick cloud of nostalgia. The light was swiftly fading from the people and the place I considered my first home. I turned to my camera to help me make sense of everything going on within and outside of me during this period of uprooting and to find the light within the darkness. The resulting images capture quiet, fleeting moments of intimacy, joy and grief. Woven together they serve as a lyrical reflection on love, loss and the ephemeral nature of life.
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Kristen Bartley: Flower MoundMarch 18th, 2019
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Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South, Day 4March 7th, 2019