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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Julie Blackmon

Dates:  1966, 3 July -
Active:  US
In her "Domestic Vacations" series the settings are those of the everyday but the event is captured in a flurry of chaotic detail. This work is in the tradition of fabricated realities. 
Artist statement: 
Domestic Vacations: The Dutch proverb “a Jan Steen household” originated in the 17th century and is used today to refer to a home in disarray, full of rowdy children and boisterous family gatherings. The paintings of Steen, along with those of other Dutch and Flemish genre painters, helped inspire this body of work. I am the oldest of nine children and now the mother of three. As Steen’s personal narratives of family life depicted nearly 400 yrs. ago, the conflation of art and life is an area I have explored in photographing the everyday life of my family and the lives of my sisters and their families at home. These images are both fictional and auto-biographical, and reflect not only our lives today and as children growing up in a large family, but also move beyond the documentary to explore the fantastic elements of our everyday lives, both imagined and real.
The stress, the chaos, and the need to simultaneously escape and connect are issues that I investigate in this body of work. We live in a culture where we are both “child centered” and “self-obsessed.” The struggle between living in the moment versus escaping to another reality is intense since these two opposites strive to dominate. Caught in the swirl of soccer practices, play dates, work, and trying to find our way in our “make-over” culture, we must still create the space to find ourselves. The expectations of family life have never been more at odds with each other. These issues, as well as the relationship between the domestic landscape of the past and present, are issues I have explored in these photographs. I believe there are moments that can be found throughout any given day that bring sanctuary. It is in finding these moments amidst the stress of the everyday that my life as a mother parallels my work as an artist, and where the dynamics of family life throughout time seem remarkably unchanged. As an artist and as a mother, I believe life’s most poignant moments come from the ability to fuse fantasy and reality: to see the mythic amidst the chaos.
(May 2006)

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ThumbnailJulie Blackmon: Domestic Vacations 
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Julie Blackmon

Solo Exhibitions
2006 Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago, IL
2006 Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, Oregon
2006 Photoeye Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2006 Good Girl Art Gallery, Springfield, MO
2006 Arts Center of the Ozarks, Fayettville, AR
2005 University of Arkansas at Little Rock
2005 Drury University
Group Exhibitions
2006 Museum of Contemporary Photography, Domestic Diaries
2006 Society for Contemporary Photography, Family Pack
2006 Photo LA, Los Angeles, CA, featured artist of Photoeye Gallery
2005 Group Portrait, Boston University, Photographic Resource Center
2005 Photo NY, New York, New York, featured artist of Photoeye Gallery
2005 Photoeye Gallery, Santa Fe, NM, Selections from Photographers’ Showcase
2005 Photospiva, Joplin, MO
2005 Print Auction, Houston Center for Photography
2006 Santa Fe Center for Photography Project Competition, 1st Place, for body of work, Domestic Vacations
2006 Photospiva, 1st Place, for body of work, Domestic Vacations. Juror: Keith Carter
2005 Photospiva, 1st Place, for body of work, Mind Games. Jurors: Robert and Shana Parke Harrison
2005 B&W Magazine, Merit Award, Single Image Contest
2005 Nominated by Geo Magazine for Unicef Award 2005, for body of work Mind Games
2004 Santa Fe Center for Photography Project Competition, Honorable Mention for Body of work, Mind Games
2004 Society for Contemporary Photography, Kansas City, MO, Current Works Contest, Merit Award for body of work, Mind Games
Museum of Contemporary Photography, Midwest Photographers’ Project, Chicago, IL
University of Arkansas at Little Rock 
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