Carolyn Hampton: Childhood Dreams and Memories
The title of the piece shown above,This is My Day, aptly describes Los Angeles photographer and long time friend, Carolyn Hampton‘s, celebration this Friday as she opens an exhibition, Childhood Dreams and Memories, at the Duncan Miller Gallery in Santa Monica, CA. The exhibition is on display from June 7-July 13, 2013, with an opening on June 7th from 6-8pm. Carolyn will have an accompanying Exhibition Catalog, featuring an introduction by Dr. Anthony Bannon, director emeritus of Eastman House. The catalog is for sale at the gallery and Carolyn will be signing the evening of the opening.
Carolyn is a dedicated image maker, juggling a law career and a family, but always making time for her art. Much of her work is based on childhood memories, rituals, nightmares, and fantasies and she uses her daughter as muse to create her surreal and dreamlike images. Her evocative photographs leave us suspended between the mercurial subconscious and reminiscence of childhood memories.
Carolyn’s award-winning work has been exhibited worldwide. It is held in private collections including those of Jock Sturges, Kim and Gina Weston, and the Center for Fine Art Photography. Her images have been published in books and on dust jackets, as well as in newspapers, magazines, album covers, and on popular blogs. She is currently being featured on the Plates to Pixels Blog.
My Childhood Dreams and Memories series is based on recurring visions that I have had as far back as I can remember. The images are made up of remnants of my experiences: dreams, nightmares, memories, religious rites, rituals, and interactions with the people and animals around me. I used my daughter as my model in all of the images, and she is a “stand in” for me as a child. Many of the props I used are artifacts that have been passed down through generations of my family.
For these reasons, the series is intensely personal and often includes symbolic meaning. I shot the pictures digitally during visits to several locations that are not far from my home, including a few that are abandoned and allegedly haunted. Many of my dreams take place inside spaces that look abandoned, rather than a familiar location. I have discovered that exploring places such as abandoned hospitals or prisons, and bringing a particular nightmare to life on film can be an empowering way to conquer my fears. Perhaps an image resonates with the viewer because he or she has experienced something similar? Many of us are captivated by the same things, either subconsciously or consciously, because of our shared human experience.
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