Kimberly Austin


Kimberly Austin's current work Adam & Edna incorporates photobooth photos along with letters and other photographs to tell the story of the artist's grandparents. From her website:

Working since 1989, Kimberly Austin has produced photographs on silk, muslin, wood, and paper. She works exclusively with vintage photographic recipes, Van Dyke, Cyanotype, and Gum Bichromate, and mixes all emulsions by hand in her studio. Her images are built up from consecutive printing, either through multiple runs of translucent emulsions, or by layering images on transparent silk and vellum.

The content of Austin's work focuses on conceptions of normal behavior and development. She has worked extensively with portraits, vintage illustrations, text excerpts, and most recently personal documents from her family history. In each series she has focused on the discrepancy between societal expectations of the individual and the reality of being human. Her work continues to explore this delicate balance, exposing our vulnerability to a seemingly unending cast of social mores and accepted modes of healthy living.

Her artist statement:

Adam & Edna is the story of my grandparents. The story is told through a series of letters and photographs that document their relationship in the 1940's and 50's. Hand written letters and faded photographs archive a turbulent relationship in which a young woman struggles with her roles as mother, wife, and lover. While pregnancies ensued and travels outside of the home prevailed, desires and fears were expressed passionately in the handwritten script. Contrary to the honesty of language, romantic photo booth portraits and amateur family photographs attempt to emulate some sense of normalcy in this nontraditional family.

Contributed by Brian