Posts Tagged ‘Cambridge’

Central Square

Posted in on March 9th, 2009 by karendavis – Be the first to comment

In 1973, a single mother with two small children, I moved to Western Ave. Cambridge, MA.  Rent control, space heaters, political activism, shared childcare and potlucks … the six-unit apartment building on a noisy truck route became the center of my life.  Shabby Central Square, while a bit threatening, represented diversity, determination, and community in a time of personal and political upheaval.

By 1993, my Western Ave. world had dispersed across America. The children had graduated from high school and college and moved on to new adventures.  Married to a man whose own life changes led him to Central Square, in our home off Western Ave., I began a three-year project, documenting the storefronts and people of Central Square. The series has become a marker of two decades of my life in Cambridge and those early years of new found independence.

CloseToHome

Posted in on May 29th, 2008 by karendavis – Comments Off on CloseToHome

family panorama by karen davis

Close to Home, is an on-going series of photographs of three middle class families related to me and to one another by birth or marriage. Working in collaboration with the families – a multi-dimensional stew of cultures – I photograph the quotidian of their lives. Over the years as adults age, babies are born, children grow, illness strikes, divorce looms, relocations occur – I am there, a seen but unobtrusive presence. Most often I work with one family at a time but when members of 2 or 3 families are together, I photograph their connections.

My interest in the family as a photographic subject began with portraits by Tina Barney of her upper class family. Ultimately, it was two British artists photographing their working class neighbors and families that influenced my approach: Nick Waplington The Living Room (1991) and Richard Billingham Ray’s a Laugh” (1996).

The Story of Slavery hits home, from Close to Home series by Karen Davis
As a portfolio or exhibition, the prints can only hint at the multiple threads of narrative. As an extended series, each family’s story is more fully portrayed. By adding their voices as text or audio, my goal for Close to Home will be most fully realized. For this reason, beyond the photographs, themselves, I have begun the process of expanding this project into multi-media and book/assemblage formats.

Three Points, Harlem by Karen Davis

Sisters, West RoxburyNan and Jonathan, ClaverackDust Off, Hong KongWord Games and Treatment, Nantasket BeachAfter a Workout from series Close to Home by Karen Davis

Andrea and Nyla with One Braid to Go from Close to Home series © Karen Davis

Nyla on a rainy day in Hudson from series Close to Home © Karen Davis

Parker and Drawing of Nyla by Maggie from Close to Home © Karen Davis

What's up, Junior?Papa John and Nyla - back to the pond from series Close to Home © Karen Davis

Noah and Nyla hanging on Papi, from Close to Home © Karen Davis

Jon and baby Jesse in Hong Kong from series Close to Home © Karen Davis

Nan and Jesse, Jon and the Celtics from series Close to Home © Karen Davis

Mark Skypes with Jon from series Close to Home © Karen Davis

Parker and Andrea in Hull from Close to Home Series © Karen Davis

Ed, Meredith and Maggie - Summer's Night from Close to Home series © Karen Davis

Maggie With Pink Jacket from Close to Home Series © Karen Davis

Jesse and Nyla at Jon's 40th from series Close to Home © Karen Davis

Asia and Nyla from series Close to Home © Karen Davis

Papi holding Jesse wanting Mama from series Close to Home © Karen Davis

from series Close to Home © Karen Davis

John and Captain John from series Close to Home © Karen Davis