Documenting the Surreal

Julie Blackmon

Mannequins, chairs, books, bunting, shoes, umbrellas, curtains and even children can be found amongst the scenery of Julie Blackmon’s (b. 1966) intricately formulated photography. Combining colour, everyday objects and portraiture, Blackmon’s works are endlessly fascinating, and every return glance reveals a new angle or shape. Focusing primarily on the domestic, the layout of her subjects implies an ongoing narrative that is unconcerned with the presence of the photographer. Inspired by her personal experiences as the eldest of nine children and as a mother, these moments of chaos reflect her concern with the conflicting values of society directing parents to be both child-centred and self-obsessed at the same time. The artist’s resulting works begin in a recognisable reality and depart into the more exaggerated, fantastical elements of life. Fictional and autobiographical, her photographs find the captivating in the mundane and the aesthetically stunning at the heart of normality, giving life and imagination to ordinary existence. This series provides an overview of Blackmon’s work.