Through the overlaying of photographs I have taken of my teenage sister and myself, I have begun to explore the strangeness of confronting a visually similar person while struggling to define one’s own self. My interest in my subject matter initially came from the realization that combining one photograph of myself with one of my sister had the potential to make a comprehensible new person. As I worked through a variety of collages, my compositions began to become less understandable as realistic human forms. The process of collage allows for a disruption of understandable space. All the while the lone figure remains as a balance between reality and fiction. The scenes depicted both happened and did not; each piece is derived from reality but these people and their spaces can never be realized beyond the frames made for them. They are confined to their spaces and yet they are breaking free of having to just occupy one. At times they are still, having found near perfect concurrence between their parts. Others begin to verge on the grotesque and the highly questionable.
Hannah Varden is an artist based in Charlottesville, Virginia. Her practice seeks to utilize a combination of darkroom and digital photography techniques to produce her photographic images.
“singular” is the winner of the 2015 Ryan R. Gibbs Photography Contest judged this year by Tara Wray. Please see our contest page for more information.