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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

NJE photographer: Lucy Helton

British photographer Lucy Helton is based in Brooklyn, New York and began her photographic career in freelance fashion assisting for Elaine Constantine.  She worked her way through the industry, and eventually worked as a production manager for Head of Production for Ridley Scott's RSA Films. Moving back to photography, Lucy worked for portrait photographers Greg Miller and Grant Delin, and eventually decided to return to school to study photography.  This history is strongly evidenced in Lucy's work about where she came from where she is, and where she's going.  Both of her pieces that Andy Adams selected are from her series Where I Was Conceived.
Callahan's Bedroom, inkjet print from b/w 4x5 film, 14" x 11"  [$250]

Grace, digital 35 inkjet print, 11" x 14"  [$250]
I grew up in London hearing stories of a remote farm my parents lived on before I was born.  Where I Was Conceived is a photogrphic journey which took me back in time exploring this starnge and surreal place, Rockne, Bastrop County, Texas.

Standing on the land my father once owned I felt an overwhelming sense of depth as I watched all the surrounding mammals and insects aggressively try to survive the heat and drought, the wild-fires, and poverty they brought, the ever continuing drug and alcohol abusiveness, the reactive religion and finally the flash floods.  Within that moment I also witnessed a strange harmony and peacefulness occur, I recognized a strong belief in family and after a time an evidence in the roles men and women perform when living in this climate.

My decision to make this work black & white is based on a return to my family's past.  I wanted to be open to all I found and demonstrated this by using all formats.  Large format for still-life and landscape as I could spend time examining detail and really enjoy the slow process.  Digital for action and low light and medium format for portraits.  It's also extremely important for me to try to understand and form a relationship with the people I shoot.  I spent lots of time talking, sitting, watching and perhaps living with my subjects - and in time they got used to having me and my camera in their lives.

See more from this series, and Lucy's other work at her website www.LucyHelton.com. The National Juried Exhibition will be at the Steenbock from February 28 until April 8 with an opening reception scheduled for March 4 from 6-9pm.

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