Allison Barnes: Neither For Me Honey Nor The Honey Bee & Autobiogeography
Looking at work seen at the Filter Photo Festival
It’s always a pleasure to see well crafted, beautiful silver gelatin prints, especially photographs that were shot with a large format camera and a filled will nuance and detail. Photographer Allison Barnes brought two portfolios to the Filter Photo Festival, Neither For Me Honey Nor The Honey Bee and Autobiogeography, which reflect that she is truly dedicated to her craft – working hard on her vision and voice in photography.
Allison is Chicago based and received her B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts and her M.F.A. from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Her work has been featured in numerous publications such as Aint-Bad Magazine, American Oxford, One One Thousand, and Ticka Arts. Allison has exhibited in solo* and group shows throughout the United States and internationally, including Autobiogeography*, 30 Under 30 Women Photographers, Personal Portraits curated by the National Portrait Gallery, and received honorable mention in the 2013 Magenta Flash Forward. She is a contributing photographer to The Cultural Landscape Foundation.
Neither For Me Honey Nor The Honey Bee
The landscape in which identity is supposed to be grounded is made out of memory and desire, of shifting gestures that point towards what has happened and will happen. There are places that make us, and in some way, we make them. Our means of survival speak of how we value and use the natural world according to our senses, and shows how our own history becomes aligned with the history of a site. The terrain of these stories are built out of personal geographies where we seek comfort and sometimes solitude, where the light is regenerated into three hundred golden bees, calling forth desires that are reconcilable.
An impression put in the ground by an individual is a small event within a landscape; yet impression is the word we use to describe the effect a story has on us. In Autobiogeography, natural and man-made marks are telling of the evolving and interconnected makeup of both geography and personal experience. Place is itself temporally layered; a palimpsest of the multiple traces left by individuals, groups, and cultures.
These impressions are sometimes literally embedded within the landscape, or commemorate a natural event. Autobiography and geography converge and each image indicates a location of personal experience while offering an intertextual examination of the landscape. The marks, whether literal or transient, reveal the land as a repository of historical memory, of traces of a past and their complex connections to other places and peoples. Autobiogeography infers from the land a sense of dynamic interaction that spans from pre-history into the present.
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