Hannah Cooper McCauley: LENSCRATCH Student Prize Honorable Mention
The next four days will be dedicated to the honorable mentions for this year’s Lenscratch Student Prize.
Hannah Cooper McCauley is a master of narrative and tale. Her series, A Singular Sense of Urgency, is driven in self discovery and is hazed with a mysterious touch. In transitioning from childhood to adulthood, Hannah embraces her magical thinking by blurring the lines of reality and fiction. Her images play with with light, emotion, and visual metaphor to further understand her identity, one she is ultimately unsure of.
Hannah (b.1989, Tupelo, MS) received her BFA from Jacksonville State University in 2012 and is currently pursuing an MFA from Louisiana Tech University. She enjoys working in narrative photography, both digital and analogue, and her work investigates the curious nature of transition encapsulated within the genre of magical realism. Cooper McCauley’s work has been exhibited in group shows at various venues internationally, including the Houston Center for Photography, the Vermont Center for Photography, Photo Beijing 2014, and the 2014 Pingyao, China International Photography Festival. Hannah has been published in Photo District News as well as PHOTO+ Magazine and has been awarded numerous grants and fellowships from such institutions as the Society for Photographic Education and Louisiana Tech University. In 2013, she was awarded the Board of Regents Fellowship at Louisiana Tech University, which serves as a collaboration between the Departments of Art, Engineering, and Science. Cooper McCauley currently lives in Ruston, Louisiana with her husband, Zachary, who is also pursuing an MFA in Photography at Louisiana Tech.
A Singular Sense of Urgency
My life has often felt like one long string of layovers. Because my father is a Baptist minister, my family moved all across the sister states of Mississippi and Alabama from the time I was born and well into college. As a result, I developed a bemusing mixture of loneliness and imagination. I grew up believing in the fantastic and the probability of miracles. I learned at an early age to accept the things I could not understand, and I feel this has long influenced the method and construction of my imagery.
Because the notion of transition has routinely steered my life from childhood onward, I am fascinated by the many forms it takes even now, as I examine my new identity as lover, wife, and possible mother.
This ongoing body of work explores the connection I maintain with the temporary. I often feel a combination of frustration and kinship with this facet of my life, and it has invariably instilled a consistent need to both go back through and move forward into experiences. I make photographs as a way to interpret this desire and investigate my relationship with the ephemeral. Through investigation of family history, mythology, and the notion of memory as interpretation, I aim to demystify my past and fill the void where specific memories were never created, satisfying this curiosity with the opacity of a photograph.
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