Wedding, portrait, and fine art photographer, Laura Burlton, mines her immediate family for many of her photographic musings, in fact, her daughters are the subjects for her new series, Dreams in Chalk. A native Texan, her life long love of photography is evident in the enthusiasm and commitment she brings to her craft. For much of her fine art work, Laura uses toy cameras to bring her ethereal and other worldly images to life, though she still uses the occasional large format camera for some of her work.
Laura and Warren Harold will be exhibiting in conjunction with Fotofest 2010 and both will be co-teaching a toy camera class at The Havens Center on March 21st and April 8th in Houston. Besides her exhibition list, Laura’s work has been featured in BW photography UK, Kamera & Bild ( Sweden), Camera Arts ( online only), Lightleaks Magazine, The Knot, Modern Luxury, Weddings in Houston, and Plastic Cameras:Toying with Creativity ( Focal Press).
The series “Dreams in Chalk” started as a project I could easily do at home with my kids. My daughters enjoy dressing up and we liked to draw and act out scenes for the camera. We enjoy reading fairy tales and other classic fiction like Alice in Wonderland. While oftentimes these stories come with illustrations, it is always fun to interpret them on your own and draw out our own version.
Fairy tales and folklore started as an oral tradition, long before the advent of movies, television, or even the written word. These fireside tales were the entertainment of their day, a diversion from the drudgery of manual labor and the harsh reality of life at that time. While most tales are morally ambiguous, they do give occasion to think through a lot of fears and desires we humans inherently have. They are a place for children and adults to safely confront anxieties: the baddies, the stepmothers, monsters, beast, giants and ogres and with some cunning or luck, come out the other side vanquished. For beauty and love to triumph at the end and for happily ever afters.
I chose chalk and sidewalk as my canvas and backdrop of whichever story my daughters want to act out, as it is easily available and quick to change to suit the needs of the session. My daughters (and occasionally friends) find themselves the subject of my fairytale world and I make them up to suit my inner vision’s needs. One minute we may be interpreting a rather Grimm story while the next we are trying to see the inner eye of a passing white rabbit. My chalk seems to have visions of it’s own and a need to help us create our own happily ever-afters.
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