Monday, July 8, 2013
Noelle McCleaf in Fraction Magazine
Nokomis, Florida-based photographer Noelle McCleaf has work from her portfolio A Bee in Her Bonnet featured in Issue 52 of Fraction, the online photography magazine.
McCleaf's photographs feature the photographer and her mother in a series of images that explore complex issues in Southern life, especially around intergenerational relationships and the place of women in Southern culture.
McCleaf says that this work is a deeply collaborative engagement with the past:, and with their individual and collective roles and identities as Southern women, and as mother and daughter.
"Together as mother and daughter, we meet and recall our past experiences from what seems like lifetimes ago. The sweltering evening heat, lingering from oppressive southern days, induces visions of time gone by. Artifacts of relatives past litter the landscape, like ripe and rotting fruit—memories returning to the soil to be remade.
"Through pictures, we construct our chronicles, creating altered allegories from cultivated clues. In these images, we revisit our ancestry through collective memory, remaking, reinventing, and reclaiming our history through photographs.
"Times have changed, and we have spent years apart, but when looking through a kaleidoscope of family film negatives, we find that we remain intrinsically the same."
These are haunting images, documenting a relationship in which McCleaf's mother is clearly supportive of her daughter's artistic vision and creative practice.
McCleaf is, at the same time, deeply honoring and respectful of her mother's place in her life but also declaring her own place, voice, and vision in this world.
There is much good work here to meditate upon, and to admire.