“Overview” by Cody Bratt
Like many folks who grew up in the eighties, I’ve played with cameras my entire life. I think my interest really started watching my dad, a photoengraver, shoot artwork on giant six by six foot cameras under a red lamp. There seemed to be something magical about how he’d capture the image and turn it into a physical plate etched in metal. After a few years in my early twenties dabbling in print design, I picked up a camera more seriously and when I did, it happened to be a couple of Polaroid cameras. That artifact based magic I had seen in the photoengraving process immediately came back to life for me. Since then, my work has largely focused on the rediscovery of things that were once immensely important and loved, but now seemingly forgotten. The only thing the photograph can hope to faithfully capture in high fidelity is an emotion or feeling. To say it captures a factual scene feels naive. The photographs I try to make act as an imagined narrative to very real stories, as if each photograph is a love letter to the world; a life dripping in seduction, joy, melancholy, fear and discovery as the things around us deteriorate and are reborn. I now shoot with a various combination of digital, film and instant film cameras as I aim to create a patchwork narrative that at once appears intimately familiar with the viewers’ own life experiences, yet still simultaneously strange.