Monday, May 18, 2015

Jessica Somers

Jessica Somers is a photographer specializing in historic photographic techniques and self-portraiture. Jessica has been in love with photography for most of her life. She was exposed to the act of picture making through her grandfather, an avid amateur photographer, and in the family bathroom-turned-darkroom after sunset. Here, her parents would allow her to witness actual magic as she stood over the chemical trays watching an image appear where only a simple white sheet of paper was before. As a kid she received a Kodak disc camera and became addicted to the act of expressing her individual view of the world from the 4 foot high perspective of a seven year old. Her height has since increased but her addiction continues.

Jessica's work has been exhibited nationally and is represented by the Catherine Couturier Gallery in Houston, TX. Her research on alternative processes and select photographs are published in the 3rd edition of The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes by Christopher James to be released in 2015. She is a recipient of the 2012 Artist Fellowship Award by the The Connecticut Office of the Arts. Jessica currently teaches photography throughout Connecticut and at the Lesley University College of Art and Design in Boston.

Artist Statement: Paper House

When I entered into marriage and domestic life I experienced an intersection between personal choices and societal expectations. Suddenly the traditional aspects of nesting I had previously deemed objectionable became desirable. I both loved and loathed the idea of myself as a sort of servant in my home.

Through the self-portrait series Paper House, I investigate which of my actions are genuine desires and which actions are inherited from societal expectations common to previous generations of American women. These photographs reference my struggles, my reflections and my fears through visual metaphor. While I do not wish to take for granted my healthy relationship and stable home, I acknowledge the challenge of maintaining my personal identity amid the expectations that come with such gifts. I accept that even between the strongest of partners an unexpected earthquake can come along and knock the house down. But an earthquake can never undo the effort to sustain that which you love and endure.

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