Winter Hit Hard by Summer '07 contender Lane Collins.
I was just listening to Elvis Presley's Stranger in My Own Home Town, which led me to the following corny opening for today's post:
New Zealand-based photographer Lane Collins is no stranger to the home of the Hey, Hot Shot! blog (you follow my lead?!). Her work has caught the eye of my compatriot bloggers previously and now she is back on the blog after this beautiful, autumnal photo of hers captured my eye. (Plus, I just noticed that she's been keeping up with us as well on her personal blog, where she just featured a post on yesterday's contender Liz Kuball!)
Her bio paints her to be quite the world-traveler: though raised in North Carolina and schooled in San Francisco, she has spent her recent years on the other side of world, both in India (where she travelled to in her last year of school) and in New Zealand, where she currently resides. Reading her biography and her work statement, in which she touches upon the expatriate's struggle to merge contrasting cultural identities, I was reminded of my recent experience in Prague (where I lived and studied for four months earlier this year.)
These photographs are lifescapes -- they are artifacts of a time when everything for me is uncertain except the familiar feeling of a camera in my hands. While the subjects vary from meditative to facetious, the imagery is from the same psychological vein. In moving from the United States to New Zealand, I've found myself searching for an identity within a new context while also struggling to reckon with and maintain ties to the life and home I've left behind. My photographs depict these themes as part of a narrative which is intensely personal and at times maybe a little bit strange. The series is ongoing.
Thinking about why I like this photo, I've come up with the following answer: Anthony Bourdain says that the best food reminds you of long-forgotten flavors, usually associated with your younger years. (There's a great scene in "Ratatouille" where the uppity food critic experiences this and is transported back to his childhood home after one bite of Remy's ratatouille.) Anyway, where I'm going with this is that Collins' photo, "Winter Hit Hard", reminds me of two things:
And, more importantly:
2. This train ride I took from New York to Boston one autumn when I was 17. It was my first time alone on the East Coast and when the train rolled through Rhode Island, I had never before seen such vivid, warm colors alive on trees. Growing up in California, I hadn't experienced the radical shift in colors that occurs as the seasons change on the East Coast.
So, that's what I'm pleasantly reminded of when looking at the image I posted today. In other news: enter, enter, enter all you future hot shot boys and girls!