Dawn Roscoe: C4FAP Juror’s Selection for Exquisite Suburbia
Chicago Photographer, Dawn Roscoe’s , The Family Portrait, recently won the Juror’s Selection in the New Normal exhibition at the Center for Fine Art Photography. She received her BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago after growing up in Pittsburgh and taking photographs of her friends and family with a Polaroid given to her by her father. Drawn to the work of documentary photography and the surrealists, “my goal is for my current work to reflect both styles while remaining true to a specific narrative. Photography continues to challenge me with every new technology and with every new perspective. My aspiration is to become a unique storyteller who parallels our provocative culture and makes viewers contemplate about our future.”
At first glance, Dawn’s photograph of a contemporary family looks quite ordinary, but something unsettling keeps the viewer interested.
Exquisite Suburbia is a fictional series that investigates the American Dream and questions the intentions of living in perfect, suburban setting. The series is an evolving story that examines both powerful cultural and societal influences on the family as a whole and individually. The story begins with a modern day housewife living in a utopian suburbia and tells of her world full of demanding family obligations, career goals and beauty ideals.
In her ever-changing and multifaceted role, her suburban existence is pushed to live an exquisite life and achieve an idyllic environment for her children while living in a chaotic world of idealized imagery along with the omnipresent pressure to succeed. Yet, the successes and perspectives of her behavior begin to affect her maturing family.
As the story enfolds into the next chapter, named “Best Friends” the youngest daughter becomes part of emotional landscape within the household. The chapter describes a special friendship between a girl and her best friend and how each girl is connected to one another in a complex relationship which involves a labyrinth of the conscious and the unconscious mind.
Through the mother and daughter relationship, friendships are created to reveal another facet of the imagined life, isolation and vulnerability. With the innocence of childhood, certain environmental and familial messages seep into the psyche and start to form behaviors, aesthetics, and ambitions. My goal is to offer an intertwining story of an imagined family living in a powerful world of media, technology and imagery and how cultural perspectives and realities are formed.
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The Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Photographic PortraitureSeptember 27th, 2020