Ramsey Library Exhibits

In candidacy for Bachelor of Fine Arts, UNC Asheville

Sara Kate Eubanks
Reflection of Self

August 9 - 29, 2002
with a closing reception Thursday, August 29, 6:30-8:30













Artist Statement

          As a society, we are obsessed with the new, the living, the here, and the now.  We value and glorify thriving youth while denying the reality and beauty of age.  We have become disillusioned and have lost focus of that which is before us.  This photographic exhibit is an expression of my thoughts about this passage of life and time.  As an artist, I have always been drawn to inanimate objects and places.  To me, they carry on a conversation and tell a story if one is only quite enough to listen.  These photos before you tell a story and act as a metaphor for ourselves and a vehicle into our character as individuals.

          The subject matter of my show appropriately represents its title, Reflection of Self, in several ways.  The word self not only refers to me as the artist and photographer, but you, the viewer, as well as the larger universal self.  Each image is taken in Asheville, a place I have come to know well since my birth.  So in this regard, I am fully reflected.  They are laid out in a progressive manner to represent the passage of life from childhood innocence into fleeting youth, professionalism and aged wisdom and discipline.   They are reflections of both the good and bad of our human character.

          On a technical level, I have taken these pictures using either a Holga camera or a Diana camera, both of which are cheap, all plastic, medium format cameras.  It was the discovery of these “toys” that opened up a world of creativity for me as an artistic photographer.  Because of the lack of quality of the camera body and lens, the images are often distorted and out of focus in some areas.  Light leaks often occur, as well as other unpredictable occurrences, creating a fuzzy and very dream-like quality.   It is this serendipity that brings my photos to life.  I have intentionally chosen the image size and manipulated the print quality to enhance this dreaminess.  Their small size prevents them from feeling to life-like, encouraging the viewer to interact with them on a more intimate level, while their deeper, more contrasting quality creates the disconnected and disoriented feeling dreams often give.

          It is not my wish to condemn youth and glorify age, or vice versa, but rather to say that we are disillusioned.  We are often so obsessed with the one that we loose sight of the other.  People fight to maintain their physical stamina and therefore do not ever notice the beauty that lies before them throughout the entire journey of life.  On the surface, this is an exhibit of disillusionment, but underneath it is one of realization.  We must not allow ourselves to be blinded and fooled by what was in the past or what is to come in the future.  We must embrace it in its full entirety.  We are fallen individuals so far from perfection.  We are vain, contemptuous, and self-seeking from birth until death, but it is Grace that allows for the beauty of growth, compassion, and wisdom to shine through.   We attempt and struggle unsuccessfully to separate the two, denying one and living for the other, but the two  cannot be torn apart; without one you cannot have the other.  Until we are shown and realize our fallenness, we cannot see the grace before us.

          In closing, I would like to thank my family for their love and support from the very beginning; Larry for his constant understanding of, faith in, and encouragement to, me and my work; Nikki for her endless hours of artistry friendship; Erica…just because; and Paul without whom I might have never  finished (you’re greatly missed!)

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