Odette England: The States Project: Rhode Island
Odette England’s boundless energy is evident in her conviction that photography is still a realm of multiple possibilities. Her experiences at her childhood farm in rural Australia serve as the catalyst for her historical and contemporary photographic archive. Odette burns, buries, scratches, folds and erases her photographs, among many other processes. Behind these experiments is her connection to the past, self, identity, and place. Her work asks, ‘can the landscape imbue historical events in its very organic matter onto the surface of photographic materials?’ Odette has published ‘Left Hand Drive’, ‘Right Hand Side’ and most recently ‘Keeper of the Hearth’ which asked over 200 photographers and writers to reflect on Roland Barthes unpublished photograph of his mother.
Odette England uses photography, performance, writing, and the archive to explore themes of autobiography, land, gender, and ritual.
England is the 2020/2021 Artist-in-Residence at Amherst College in Massachusetts. She is also a resident artist of the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Studio Program in New York.
Her work has shown in more than 100 solo, two-person, and group exhibitions worldwide.
England was recently named a 2021 Light Work Artist in Residence and a recipient of the 2021 Silver Eye Center for Photography Fellowship.
England won the CENTER $5,000 Project Launch Award (2012); two grants – $4,865 and $2,315 – from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (2018-2019); and the Anonymous Was a Woman $1,500 Grant (2020), among others.
She has received funding to attend residencies in Australia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Spain, and the United States including the invitation-only Robert Rauschenberg Foundation residency working with Guggenheim Fellow, Jennifer Garza-Cuen. Radius Books will publish their first collaborative photographic monograph Past Paper // Present Marks in spring 2021 including essays by Susan Bright, David Campany, and Nicholas Muellner.
England’s first edited volume Keeper of the Hearth was published by Schilt Publishing in 2020, with a foreword by Charlotte Cotton. The book is part of England’s Winter Garden Photograph project which includes a major exhibition at the Houston Center for Photography through January 2021.
England’s work is held in public collections including the Brooklyn Art Library, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, George Eastman Museum, Hungarian Multicultural Center, Museum of Contemporary Photography, New Mexico Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, and Texas A&M University.
Her work has been published in many contemporary art journals, magazines, and newspapers, and she has given artist talks and critiques at Harvard University, Princeton University, Stanford University, Brown University, the School of Visual Arts in New York, Amherst College, the Penumbra Foundation, Kenyon College, Syracuse University, Lesley College of Art & Design, University of Melbourne, and the Art Gallery of South Australia, among others.
In 2021, she will teach photography masterclasses as a special guest at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, the Los Angeles Center for Photography, and the Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado.
She received a research scholarship to complete her PhD at the Australian National University in 2018. She also has an MFA in Photography with Honors from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MA in Communication, Culture and Language from the University of South Australia.
England is a permanent US resident and lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island and New York City. Her work is represented in the US (east coast only) by Klompching Gallery.
Punched is a series of unique hand-punched snapshots from my family archive, layered and adhered.
The concept of the work is two-fold. The first is how we learn to look at the subject of snapshots – for example, a person, a dog, a building, a car. In doing so we may overlook the periphery, the outskirts of the main event. This may be where important clues are. Punching out the main subjects is an act of teasing and censorship. It transitions the subject to one of process.
The second is the circular shape of the punches. They become little clouds of thought, or speech bubbles in space. Black holes where information or knowledge continues to leak out. These spaces invite the imagination to fill them back up again.
Unique original snapshots hand-punched and layeredChromogenic prints, gelatin silver prints, Polaroids, archival tapeVarious sizes(given dimensions are W x H)Two frame sizes: 11×13” and 12×15” in light oak All images courtesy the artist and Klompching Gallery, New York
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