Jessica Eaton, Photographer, Toronto
ARTIST STATEMENT: My photographic practice is experimental. I draw inspiration for projects from many places, but more common than not there is a reference to photography itself within the works or the processes. I spend a good deal of time thinking about what photography is and let that dialogue lead me to ideas of what it could be. Light, contingency, relativity, time and spatial relations have come to the forefront as subjects in much of my work. I plan my projects extensively, but treat them as experiments, a never ending series of tests. Each time I shoot, the results influence the next step. I often like to leave a lot of space for accidents to happen and am most satisfied with the work when it takes on a life of its own. I want to make photographs that surprise me, that teach me something, that seem a little like I didn’t even make them despite the effort. I want to make photographs that compel one to keep looking.
Using a wide array of experimental, analogue-based photographic techniques such as color separation filters, multiple exposures, dark slides and in-camera masking Jessica Eaton builds images on sheets of 4×5 film that address fundamental properties of photography such as light, chance, duration, illusion and spatial relations. Eaton has written: “I often set up parameters for phenomena to express itself. In the best of cases I push things so that the response comes in ways that I could not have thought up until I was shown it on film. Once you get to see or experience something you can use it. Then you can use it to see something else.”
For more on Jessica’s photographs visit her blog.