Throughout the history of photography artists have well served the descriptive powers of the medium. They have reported the facts and “let the truth be prejudice” and we have reported the facts and “let the truth be prejudice “and we have gained a clearer description of our world because of their efforts. In the process they opened the doors for a broader use of the descriptive powers of photography.
Elon Streetman uses photography to collect familiar images to engage our attention. Sometimes through subtle manipulation and sometimes through overt staging she suggests that what is prosaic and safe can be a starting point to encounter new promise by setting the imagination on a course of discovery. Through this process she suggests that there is a fine line separating the desire to change the way life works and the act of expressing ideas and interpreting compassion in works of art.
In her work Streetman will add objects, introduce movement and sometimes air brush the surface of the photograph. In Fenland Wisteria and Carolina Hemlocks her interaction with the subjects complements the inherent grace in the natural forms while she pays homage to nature’s timeless beauty and constant splendor.
Compliments quickly turn to criticisms in Florida Corporate when Streetman engages the icons of Florida’s leisure industry. Disneyland has elevated the pursuit of leisure to a religion and provided us with packaged fantasies that direct our imagination to distraction. The illusions Streetman creates using natural subjects allows us to feel closer to things we cannot change, to accept or to ignore, and in fact limit the potential for fantasy to further our sense of discovery.
Elon Streetman lives in Gainesville, Florida and teaches photography at the University of Florida.
Jeffrey Hoone 1989