What Is Near: Reflections on Home
January 16–September 11, 2016
Sarah Hobbs (American, born 1970)
Denial, from the Small Problems in Living series, 2008
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, gift of the Atlanta Celebrates Photography Auction 2012
What Is Near examined the ways in which artists have explored issues of identity and memory in the context of home. Home can be a place laden with emotion and memory, and is often inextricably tied to a sense of identity. In this exhibition, the work of five Southern photographers in the permanent collection of the High Museum approach topics of representation through the framework of home.
The artworks included Beth Lilly’s study of memories and dreams, Angela West’s return to a familiar landscape and family members, Paula Chamlee’s depictions of her childhood home after decades away, Sheila Pree Bright’s dispelling of stereotypes through depictions of living spaces, and Sarah Hobbs’s manufactured rooms filled with the anxieties of the human experience.
Each series translates a particular location or experience into one that is universal through the act of taking a photograph, and each photograph carries the weight of representing a life lived. A sense of nostalgia, while present in many of these images, does not rule the scenes. In studying these deeply personal works, the viewer may recall his or her own personal experiences of home.