2008 McKee Photography Grant Recipient: Eleanor West '10

Thursday, September 11, 2008
Opening reception for Eleanor West's show, Iptych, which will be on display from September 8-26.

Eleanor is a recipient of the McKee Photography Grant, and this exhibit of Polaroid photographs represents the culmination of her summer work.

West Polaroids 

For my project I wanted to explore certain formal restrictions both through my medium and through the organization of the photographs.  In order to achieve this I used a square format camera, the Polaroid, in conjunction with a rectangular layout. The Polaroid served two purposes in this regard. Primarily it acted as a technical restriction due to its lack of manual controls. It also provided a square format, which I incorporated into a larger panoramic view in order to expand the view of each room while simultaneously focusing in on the individual parts that make up that room. This allowed for a certain amount of independence between individual photographs despite the fact that they are grouped together in triptychs and diptychs.

Furthermore, the Polaroid camera is important for its nostalgic and informal quality.  Since the medium may appear more personal due to its informality it may also provide a further emotional connection to interior. I have a personal connection with all of the rooms pictured here and I wanted to capitalize on the familiar quality of the Polaroid format while still retaining a formal photographic approach to the subjects.