Jocelyn Lee

(...) I have always been drawn to Sharon Olds' poetry. The themes are often domestic and familiar—children, husband, lover, sex, aging, birth, death, home—but they are described in an unsentimental and often raw way. Her work is frank, unapologetic and human. It looks with clear-eyed honesty at the place from which we all come—our homes, our families, our bodies. This is both inspiring and a great relief to me.

I’d have to say that these are the same themes that motivate my work, and I certainly try to be direct and honest in the way I photograph. My work is essentially familiar and seems to originate from the immediate sensual world (the world of the home and interpersonal experiences), rather than from an intellectual or political one. I usually begin with issues that have to do with the body—the fact that our bodies are the first point of connection between ourselves and the world around us---and then cycle out from there. I always photograph subjects I want to understand better—for example my mother’s illness. I am very compulsive once I find a subject and my process can be seen as an obsession to see more clearly the thing that I don't yet understand.

Once I decide on a subject, I go out and find the people or events that help me study it more closely (unless it is already in my home, in which case I don’t have far to go). This can be something as specific as “hunting”, (which I have photographed for years—bear, moose, deer and bowhead whale hunts to name a few), or as abstract as “sexuality in older age”. My methods will vary in terms of how I make the pictures, but the origin is always personal fascination. (...)

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