Thursday, June 5, 2008

Bukutgirl featured for week 17 in Spotlight 7

Yet another Liz falling from grace

Week 17 of Spotlight Seven features Bukutgirl, whose great portraits are accompanied by an even more amazing life story. Originally from Oregon but now living in Baltimore, Bukutgirl is a former Peace Corps volunteer who is now pursuing a double masters degree and planning to pursue her Ph.D. Here's an excerpt from this week's interview.

3) Your photos have a very gritty real quality about them. Do you attribute that to your style, surroundings, your emotion going into a photo?

I moved to Baltimore shortly before getting on flickr and starting to shoot again – besides the very few shots I actually took while in peace corps (maybe 4 rolls in 2 years) I really hadn’t picked up a camera in about 10 years. I was very much alone in this city when I first got here and surprised by the intensity of this place. Baltimore is guts – so many people here don’t even know if they are going to eat that night – or if they’ll have a home next month – it gives the city – and even those of us who are a little more financially secure – a rawness – by living around it all the time. Being a nurse at a local Baltimore hospital influenced this as well – many of my patients were end stage AIDS patients – and it made me so angry at the world – that is a fate no one deserves. I also have had quite a number of major physical problems in the last three years that have at times brought me really down and have made it hard to want to continue to be. A lot of my self portrait work has been about getting some of that out and the war you get into with your own body when it is a constant source of pain. So I guess it’s a bit of everything – the urgent surroundings – the at times desperate nature of life in Baltimore – and my own physical / emotional pain – that pushes me towards gritty.

Be sure to read the whole interview and view all 10 photos selected for this week's exhibited.

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