Fine Art Photography Daily

Lenscratch Student Prize, First Place: Lauren Kelly

LaurenThomas_1

©Lauren Kelly

This week we are celebrating the 2016 LENSCRATCH Student Prize Winners, starting with Lauren Kelly, who garnered First Place for her project, Echoes – Growing Up With PTSD: A consequence of Juvenile Rape. We received a stellar group of submissions, reflecting insightful work and an exciting next generation of visual artists. We were struck by the profoundly personal interpretations of subjects that speak to gender, sexuality, equality, and family–and we are truly grateful to all who submitted. LENSCRATCH Editors Grant Gill, Sarah Stankey, and I poured over the projects and had a difficult time narrowing the list to seven photographers. Congratulations to the winners–we can’t wait to follow your photographic journeys.

Lauren Kelly’s project, Echoes – Growing Up With PTSD: A consequence of Juvenile Rape is powerful in its revelatory subject matter, but also in the brilliance of its narrative and visual interpretations. I viewed this project having seen the recent documentary, The Hunting Ground, and having read John Krakauer’s Missoula, so this subject was much on my mind–as a woman, I am hyper aware of the global travesty of sexual assault. Lauren’s project shed new light on an important subject, which was rooted in the personal, yet universal in the articulation of the work. It is brave, relevant and significant work that hopefully helps bring this subject out of the shadows, removing stigmas and setting victims on a course of healing. Bearing witness, feeling heard and seen, and using art to create change are powerful weapons in this effort.

Originally from the Seattle area, Lauren Kelly is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. During her teen years, she developed PTSD from sexual trauma. Exploring her symptoms and recovery from this trauma through photography became an act of catharsis. Self- defined as a “trauma photographer,” L.K. takes an interest in the process of healing — with subjects ranging from landscape to others suffering from the same disorder. Three years after her diagnosis, L.K. now works with and interviews women who also suffer from PTSD due to sexual assault and rape.
LaurenThomas_2

©Lauren Kelly

Echoes – Growing Up With PTSD: A consequence of Juvenile Rape

At 14 years old, Lauren was raped for the first time and would not be diagnosed with PTSD for another five years because she felt unable to tell someone. Unfortunately, her story is not an uncommon one. In our society, rape and sexual assault are incredibly common issues. In Lauren Kelly’s series, Echoes – Growing Up With PTSD: A consequence of Juvenile Rape, she conducted interviews with three women who were at varying levels of dealing with their trauma. The images based on these interviews often seem comforting at first, but become colored by the trauma described in the interviews. PTSD affects the part of the brain that allows people to distinguish between past and present memories. Many women experience triggers in places that simply remind them of where their trauma took place, thus creating echoes of memories that exist in no particular space or time. When the viewer interacts with the images through the interviews, they become witness to these stories as a close family member or friend would be. Through encouraging more people to be active witnesses, Lauren hopes to encourage more sufferers of sexual trauma to break their silence as she was able to.

LaurenThomas_3

©Lauren Kelly

LaurenThomas_4

©Lauren Kelly

LaurenThomas_5

©Lauren Kelly

LaurenThomas_6

©Lauren Kelly

LaurenThomas_7

©Lauren Kelly

LaurenThomas_8

©Lauren Kelly

LaurenThomas_9

©Lauren Kelly

LaurenThomas_10

©Lauren Kelly

LaurenThomas_11

©Lauren Kelly

LaurenThomas_12

©Lauren Kelly

LaurenThomas_13

©Lauren Kelly

LaurenThomas_14

©Lauren Kelly

LaurenThomas_15

©Lauren Kelly

Posts on Lenscratch may not be reproduced without the permission of the Lenscratch staff and the photographer.


NEXT | >
< | PREV

Recommended