At only seven years old, Angelina Kidd had caught the photography bug from her mother. By trusting her daughter to use her 35mm camera, the Kidd’s mother planted the photography seed in Kidd’s mind. Since then, Kidd has had encouragement from a variety of people in her life and one very important mentor. Her photographic eye evolved over time into the surreal and theatrical work that defines her style today. Her winning image, Jumping Into the Vortex, is a prime example. At first glance it appears to be constructed set pieces, perhaps from a theater stage, but closer in reality the set is small-scale cut paper and shadow puppets.
Jumping Into the Vortex
Constructing images is Kidd’s preferred method of working. Unlike most photographers who record and interpret the world around them, even if aided by props and costumes, Kidd finds freedom in creating a tableau from raw materials. Of her process she says, “I know very little about Photoshop. Not because I am against it, but rather I relish in the experience of cutting paper, using tape, playing with textured fabrics and then my camera translates it into something even more magical than I expected.” It is the unexpected that keeps her interested in the medium. Each photograph begins as a dream or a flash of inspiration. She allows it to marinate in her consciousness until it is time to enter the studio. Once there, she allows her subconscious and emotions to take over and guide the camera to the final image. Her photographs require some pre-planning to determine what materials might be needed, but once she is behind the camera, the characters and scenes she has created take on a life of their own.
In an age when images are consumed at a rapid rate, Kidd’s way of working is extremely time consuming and her hope is that her viewers will take their time to examine the photographs, as she has taken time to create them. The series itself is about time and its long-term effects, focusing on the life-death cycle on a macro scale, examining multiple lifetimes.
Kidd has been taking a much-needed break from creating new work. Having recently completed her MFA in photography from Lesley University College of Art and Design. For two years she traveled between her school in Boston and her home in Washington State. The intense travel and curriculum pushed Kidd out of her comfort zone and “took me to levels of creativity I never thought I was capable of.” This current period of repose has allowed time for reflection and inspiration as she contemplates the next direction for her work. Kidd has also used this time away from the camera to exhibit this series, which has garnered positive press.
Silhouette of Silhouettes