Humble Arts Foundation and Women in Photography are delighted to announce Brea Souders as the 2011 WIP–LTI/Lightside Materials Grant recipient. The $1,000 grant will support a new series of photographs that examine her European ancestry.
As an American with typically mixed bloodlines, I started this project to explore the many places in Europe where I have ancestry and their influence on me as an artist and a person. I created the very first photograph in this series in Italy in May, 2010, titled Sunburn in Naples. This image encapsulated my feelings – a desire to own my Italian ancestral roots, to be wholly a part of something, but an inability to do so. The Neapolitan sun burned the Irish skin that I inherited from my father’s father. Upon my return home I continued my work, creating images that reflect my research of Christianity, art history, European history, family traditions and my desire to connect all of the pieces together into one unified whole.
I recently completed a long residency in France, where I continued this project with a focus on the experience of living as a foreigner in a place where I have ancestry. The images created in France have taken a looser and more personal turn, with special attention to my own interaction with the French landscape and with objects that I found along the way. The images speak to sudden feelings of freedom, curiosity and transformation, and to a world that became larger, less static and more confounding. The resulting photographs reflect a shift that took place within me as a result of spending time in my ancestral country, France.
Brea Souders was born in Frederick, Maryland, and studied photography at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Her work has been exhibited and screened at institutions such as Abrons Arts Center, Jack the Pelican Presents, and Affirmation Arts in New York City; the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the American University Museum, Washington, D.C; and at festivals including the New York Photo Festival; PhotoIreland in Dublin; the Singapore International Photography Festival, and Head On in Sydney, Australia. Her work has been supported by the Camac Art Centre and Fondation Ténot, Marnay-sur-Seine, France; The Millay Colony of the Arts, Austerlitz, NY and the Camera Club of New York.
Selected publications and clients include: New York Magazine, Gar-de, Vogue Paris, Real Simple, Dear Dave, Canteen, Warner Brothers Records, and Feltrinelli Publishing House. Brea lives and works in New York City. See more here.