Today wecomplete h the Honorable Mentions from the 2013 Lenscratch Student Competition. Congratulations to both Kurt Dudley
and Sarah Marie Land
! These two photographers take very different approaches to their work. While Kurt is exploring feelings of anxiety through his picture making, Sarah takes a look at identity and class through portraiture.
© Kurt Dudley
© Sarah Marie Land
In the highly competitive photography program at Montana State University Bozeman, Kurt Dudley managed to stand out with his unique images. Using a minimalistic style, Kurt approaches complex subjects and themes with a discriminating eye. His photographs are precise and intentional. Driven by internal worry he manages to transfer his special brand of anxiety to his images. As a rising talent in the photography field, expect to see more work from this twenty-something.
When asked for one sentence to explain why he is a photographer he replied:
I am a photographer because I find no better way to communicate myself to others as effectively and succinctly as photography.
I am the creator of a special brand of anxiety. I notice small idiosyncrasies that make my heart twitch and inspire a fleeting moment of panic. This panic stems from my fear of having a sudden break with reality. The feeling can be described as a glitch, or a stutter in my mind. A wide range of subjects trigger my fight or flight mechanism, from debates over political issues to the overly contrasted colors of an object lying in the grass. Usually these feelings can be shrugged off or ignored. Sometimes they stick with me, forever arranging in my mind as a lifelong list of anxiety-producing moments. My anxiety is irrational and erratic. Yet that knowledge does not make my feelings any less real.
Sarah-Marie Elisabeth Land continues to create images that blur the line between the fictitious and the real. She studies photography at Saint Louis Community College in addition to holding a MA in French, Saint Louis University and a BA in French and International Political Studies from Drury University. Her affinity for the Fine Arts and French also led to work overseas teaching English in Paris. She resides in St. Louis.
When asked to explain in one sentence why she is a photographer she replied:
I photograph to document, re-create and commemorate.
My environmental portraits, of young individuals dressed in school uniforms, seek to create a complex body of work and provoke questions concerning identity, education, and class system. Each image exists as a single portrait within a series, a community of photographs. The subjects, dressed in traditional uniform attire, gaze in acknowledgment of the audience. Each young student stands within his or her domestic space, yet, there exists an awkwardness in the way each presents himself or herself. An overwhelming similarity exists within the physicality of the individuals, the colors and structure of the uniforms, and the sterile environments. They are so similar, yet distinctive. Inspired by the photographic works of Rineke Dijkstra, Tina Barney, and Catherine Opie, I create images questioning my personal ideas of education, family, and community.Ideas concerning portraiture are explored. What is a portrait? What is it to photograph another individual within their space? As an artist, a photographer, we are aware of the rules and structure concerning portraiture, yet there is also the element of chance, the intangible element. I believe the act of photographing to be the act of exploring, engaging, and gaining awareness.