Lydia Goldblatt’s portrait (below) was selected for Portrait Salon in 2011 and is from her series Still Here, an intimate body of work about her parents. ‘Goldblatt’s series, Still Here (2010-2013), takes as its point of departure the family home, focusing on the transitional experience of the artist’s parents as they age. The work stems from a desire to address the inevitable changes wrought by her elderly father’s approaching death. Her image making combines close observations of the human form with still lives, portraits and abstract works resonant of planets and origins.’
‘Marked with tenderness, the work is far removed from the haste and public face of contemporary family self-representation. It offers instead a concentrated meditation on mortality, time, love and loss, in which corporeal scrutiny courts metaphysical wonder. Still Here explores the indefinable thresholds that mark out individual existence, and the subtle process of erasure that returns us to the state from which we emerge.’
‘While the work is about the artist’s family, it is equally a means to contemplate the nature of life and the invisible bonds of love. It engages with the shifting nature of time, and the potential of photographs to open up the realm of experience via their poetic as well as indexical reality. In making work about a personal experience of mortality, Goldblatt explores the cyclical scope of existence that sees nature’s fingers unpick our fragile yet insistent efforts to build, construct and create.’
‘Photographing, for me, is a means of giving expression to both the internal and external processes that shape our experience of life. My work considers transitional human states and is tied to concepts of identity and belonging. These images are from a series about my parents, focussing on my elderly father’s mortality, and stemming from a desire to address the inevitable changes wrought by his approaching death.’
‘I am witnessing human fragility, the physical and psychological boundaries of a human essence. I am interested in the indefinable thresholds that mark out our individual existence, and in the subtle process of erasure that returns us to the state from which we emerge. While the work is about my family, it is also a means to contemplate the nature of life and the invisible bonds of love. It engages with the constantly shifting nature of time, and the potential of photographs to open up the realm of experience via their poetic as well as indexical reality. In making work about a personal experience of mortality, I am exploring the cyclical scope of existence that sees nature’s fingers unpick our fragile yet insistent efforts to build, construct and create.’
Lydia Goldblatt trained at the London College of Communications, receiving a Masters Degree in Photography with Distinction in 2006. She lives and works in London. Her work has been exhibited and published internationally, with group and solo shows in the UK, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Greece, China and Malaysia.
Her series, Still Here, is the subject of a solo exhibition at the Felix Nussbaum Museum in Germany from November 2012 – January 2013. She has also exhibited recently at Galerie Huit during the Rencontres d’Arles International Photography Festival, the Hereford Photography Festival, the Daylight Photography Awards, Prix de la Photographie and International Photography Awards.
Interviews and features of her work have been published in Photomonitor, Hotshoe, British Journal of Photography, PLUK, the Guardian, Sunday Times, Telegraph, and Wallpaper*, among others.
In 2010 she was nominated for the Sovereign European Art Prize, and in 2011 was awarded the Fundacion Botin Residency Award with Paul Graham. This year she is the recipient of the Magenta Flash Forward Award and International Jewish Artist of the Year award. Anne Braybon, curator of photographs at the National Portrait Gallery, recently nominated her for the Vic Odden Award, recognising significant achievement by a young British photographer.
James O Jenkins