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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Sarah Hobbs

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Born: Sarah Anne Hobbs 
Other: Sarah Hobbs Peck 
Dates:  1970, 13 February -
Born:  US, VA, Lynchburg
Active:  US
American photographer who uses constructed spaces to create visual typologies of emotional states. 
Artist statement: 
In my work, I am constructing psychological space. My intent is to explore the human psyche and relish the idea that we are all beautifully flawed. These large-scale images (48” x 60”) come from the exploration of human behaviors and compulsions. I look for an everyday level to the clinical subjects that I research, as tendencies toward one issue or another are present in everyone.
I have always been drawn to using interior space in my work and ultimately focused on the psychological weight that a space can have. I realized that by controlling the environment more I could create a space that holds a narrative.
The settings are always in actual spaces as opposed to a studio. The domestic setting places the scene in reality while the situation created is an elaborate exaggeration. The space represents a thought process, a feeling, or a subconscious drive.
I am exploring how we come to see ourselves, see others, and how others may come to see us through our quirks. These images illustrate how we relate to others, to the world at large, how our traits affect other people, and how the world affects us given our various traits, whether they are internalized or externalized. Further, I am examining our attempts to manage our issues ourselves, and the inevitable pitfalls these efforts create.
It is ultimately the viewer who completes this work. There can be a comfort found in recognizing that one is not the only person with such a problem. However, there is discomfort in the possibility of being face to face with an aspect of oneself that is in general negative. Each piece is a kind of self-test.
I am currently working on an actual installation in a house. Viewers will be able to experience a psychological issue played out in the physical space of an entire bedroom.
Source: Pers. email, Sarah Hobbs to Alan Griffiths (30 April 2012)

The constructed spaces are created in real spaces, but the photographs are one step removed from the real thing, and therefore more removed from real life. There is a clear distinction between the real thing and a photograph of it. Because these images represent a state of mind, the fact that they are photographs emphasizes the point that one would not be able to be in the actual presence of it. Each interior is a fiction, a stage set. I am creating spaces to create photographs of them. The photographs represent a state of mind better because space is in reality and photographs are not reality.
The photographs are not meant to represent a rational situation, rather the imagined situation. They are extravagant exaggerations, unlikely possibilities. It is what one’s mind conjures up when experiencing a certain discomfort, whether it is trying to find a way out of the situation or being completely suppressed by it.
Source: From a lecture given by Sarah Hobbs at Augusta State University (29 September 2011)

Some influences, if anyone asks:
David Levinthal, William Eggleston, Sophie Calle, James Casebere, Thomas Demand, Candida Hofer, Edward Hopper, Marcel Duchamp, Do Ho Suh, Cornelia Parker and Anne Hamilton.
Source: From a lecture given by Sarah Hobbs at Augusta State University (29 September 2011)

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