Born and raised in Connecticut, USA, Kristen McNevins recived a BFA from the University of Connecticut, and an MFA in photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA. Her work has been featured in exhibitions, print publications and several online blogs/magazines. She currently resides in Connecticut and works as a visual arts educator.
Photos featured here belong to her recent project ‘Out of Habit’. These tender and minimalistic images portray a state of stillness and quietude… as better explained in her project statement, they give a chance to the viewer to experience the occurrence of moments and events ‘from the periphery of vision’.
About : I was born in the northeast region of the United States, and have primarily worked between the north and south east coast for most of my life. I don’t remember having a distinct moment when I became interested in photography. Since I was young, I’ve always had an interest in art with an incentive to try all type of mediums. Photography was a medium that I decided to pick up out of curiosity for its process. From the click of shutter to developing the image in the darkroom, I felt fully engaged in the making of the image.
Since then, I have completed both a Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts in photography, and I developed an approach to photographing that became quite intuitive for me. I became interested in making images that show a captivating moment of discovering something for the first time. This encourages a more meaningful experience that inspires me to find a poetic outlook of my own immediate surroundings.
Methods and preferences : I tend to travel light when I photograph, relying on whatever camera I am carrying at the moment to take a photograph of my surroundings. I primarily use a smaller camera, either digital or 35mm color film, to give me the mobility to capture something in the spur of the moment. However, I’ve also enjoyed using a 4×5 film camera. I am able to capture my intuitive methods of creativity in a slower way with larger format. When I setup the camera, I like to watch the light change or wait for something else to reveal itself at the last minute before taking the picture.
Project(s) : I finished my project, ’Out of Habit’, a year ago, which has been the most influential to my creative process and my relationship to photography. In this series, I explore common moments of solitude through images composed with a mindset similar to meditation, and is reliant on an intuitive creative process that seeks out patterns of form, light and color. Most are created from the artist’s own experience of the encounter with the content, and with the intention that the viewer experiences a similar moment of noticing something out of nothing. From the periphery of vision, the subtly of the everyday details contributes to a dialogue that turns an objective response of taking pictures into something that makes the aesthetic content into an emotional and poetic exploration.
I also just started a new project while on my most recent trip to the west coast of Ireland for an artist residency. There is not much to the project yet, but I am excited to continue working on it to see where it goes.
Influences and favorite stuff : I admire the work of many photographers I have encountered from my interest and studies in photography. Some of my favorites are Uta Barth, Minor White, Edward Weston William Eggleston, and any other artist or photographer that show the mundane as something more. Interesting patterns, textures, vibrant and pale colors, and light inspire me.
Listening to music, reading poetry, drawing, visiting art galleries, and traveling also influence my photography and working process. I am inspired by the thrill of going someplace new.