Statement


For the past 15 years I have been using photography to explore ways that people interact with their environment and transform the urban landscape with aesthetic markers of culture and ethnicity. Recently I have been documenting sites where the urban environment has been modified to accommodate unmet desires and needs, which in turn signify class and economic position.

For example the work in the Places of  Worship gallery should be understood as documents of a type of vernacular transformation of public space in the urban environment. That is, adapting structures intended for one type of use into another use. Similarly the Front Yards gallery reflects my interest in how front yards are used by the inhabitants to signify the subject position of the home dwellers to both the people that pass by on the sidewalk, and their neighbours. Similarly, the Shrines gallery reflects my interest in the how the images of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, Santo Judas and Santo Juquila have been domesticated into sidewalk and roadside shrines in Mexico. While many of the photographs were taken in Mexico City, some or from smaller towns in the areas that surround the city, and from the state of Oaxaca. The shrines in Mexico generally reflect the sophisticated and complex history of colonization and integration of Catholic beliefs with indegenous spiritual practices. The series Playgrounds originated many years ago when abroad with two young children and being confronted with inadequate, or in some cases dangerous playspaces. In the course of documenting these spaces, I realized that the treatment of playspaces demonstrated different cultural and national attitudes towards care of the young. I have continued to document playspaces, though my children are now young adults.