Sequim, WA by Scott Eiden
Currently residing in Brooklyn, NY
As a history major in college, my senior thesis was a study of the history of the Utopian colonies in the 19th century in the Pacific Northwest. This involved a great deal of traveling to these locations and meeting with people who had some type of link to the colonies. But as I was traveling, I began to meet people who, in their own way, were trying to find their utopia. These people and this search stuck with me for a long time. As I began to take photography more seriously, I wanted to go back and explore this theme further. Having moved to New York, the trips to the Northwest became more personal (being able to visit family, friends, memories, etc) and the project took a more intimate turn. These are images of an admittedly idealized utopia of the Pacific Northwest - my Home. The images are a type of fiction in many ways, an idealization of a place I could no longer live in.
The title of the project comes from a book by Edward Bellamy that was credited with starting the surge of the Utopian movement, and a quote from Thoreau - "It is as hard to see one's self as to look backwards without turning around."
The images submitted were photographed with an 8x10 view camera.
I grew up in Tacoma, Washington, and attended the University of Puget Sound, where I graduated with a BA in History. I have no formal training in photography, but have been taking pictures since I received my first camera at 11 (a Yashica from my mother - I still have it). I began printing my own work in 2000 at the Photographic Center Northwest, and continue to do so in New York. I also print for other photographers (Sze Tsung Leong and Len Jenshel among others) as a freelance printer.