I can’t remember with whom I shared this wonderful information, but here it goes: I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel to Ireland to see the sheep, stars and of course make art. This adventure begins in two short weeks, although I’ve spent the entire semester studying and planning exactly what it is I want to do.
My work is highly sentimental and overly-nostolgic. Most of what I do records an idealized past through a singular set of eyes – my own. I pull my inspiration from a time before I knew of the corruption and brokeness of our world. This time of my life was a sanctuary where I was blind to evil and my imagination ran wild and free. It occurred to me while thinking about all of this that I am recording a place (Sycamore) that never really existed. I am creating for my hometown the narrative that I want it to have. By placing this village of eight hundred or so up on a pedestal, I’m allowing people to observe the way I saw it in my youth. In reality, if anyone who follows my work came to Sycamore, they wouldn’t recognize it at all; the older I get the more I realize just how different it is from my memories.
This semester, during my Ireland class, we talked a lot about the stereotypical way the world sees the west of Ireland. We discussed the rugged, wild, idealized landscape that sits far removed from the hustle and bustle of a modernized world; then we talked about what it’s actually like. Through all of these discussions it became apparent to me that the world sees the west of Ireland the way that I see Sycamore, Ohio: through a set of rose colored glasses.
I thought it would be interesting to photograph different aspects in each location (rural Ohio and rural Ireland) that remind me of the other. My goal is for the photographs in this series to seem interchangeable, so that the viewer can’t tell from where a picture came.
This will be my first time traveling abroad, and I am excited to see how my hometown/upbringing will influence the way that I see this part of the world. It is also my hope that my trip to Ireland will influence the way that I see my hometown.
Feature image is a vintage postcard from the John Hinde studio.