Very recently I received an email from photographer Julia Callon, who supplied a link to her portfolio of work.
I was blown away by Houses of Fiction, a collection of images housing a rich context of narrative. Carefully constructed scenes supplied in a ‘before-and-after’ manner are all wrapped up in engagingly punchy images. Callon constructs small-scale models to create her scenes, a painstaking time-consuming practice, to visualise her ideas about the representation of reality.
Inspired by nineteenth century female writers and the place of the subservient vs. the empowered woman, with Houses of Fiction Callon constructs an imagined space, a hub of creativity, in which each writer may have literally and metaphorically inhabited. The emphasis then shifts to a construction where madness, conflict and disarray enters the scene, transforming it into something entirely ‘else’.
Even after reading Callon’s artist statement (view here) I feel free to ponder exactly what has enabled and triggered this shift – have we as viewers disrupted the scene with our sense of self, has the subject of each room descended into creative mania or is the space simply self-imploding, denoting the inevitable detonation confinement offers? Could each room be a direct representation of our mind, perhaps – after all, how can we hope to stay sane when confined only to our own version of reality?
In the end, we can all offer our sane and insane ‘selves’ to the world and I think that’s what I enjoy so much about Callon’s work – a literal combination of the complications of womanhood, sanity and creativity. See what you think:
Thanks for sharing your work with us, Julia, and may many flock to see more at your website here. Incidently, if you’d like to see Julia Callon’s work in-real-life,visit her exhibiton at the I. M. A. Gallery in Toronto, held until September 29th 2012.