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2019 SPE Annual Conference: The Myths of Photography and the American Dream / Major support by The Joy Family Legacy Foundation

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Deedra Baker

SPE Member since 2010
Member Chapter: South Central

Ties That Bind

Ties That Bind explores the nexus of family through three generations of females within my familial relations. Through portraits, environmental still lifes, and landscapes, this series examines the interconnectedness be-tween my mother, three sisters, two nieces, and myself. As an extension of the traditional family archive of snap shots, Ties That Bind uses color photographs, video, and a one-of-a-kind artist's book to explore the rela-tionships between the women by examining family traditions, rituals, and the connection to a homeplace—the central or family home.

Ties That Bind examines ways that our identities interweave and manifest as a result of experiences together at our family home in rural Kansas. Inspired by Patricia Kline's statement that "For most of us our identities are very much tied to where we grew up," environmental still life and landscape images made within my family's house and land reflect the visceral connection between the females and the land, home, and familial keepsakes and objects.

Intimate portraits capture the emotional, experiential, and physical bond found between we women. In her cura-torial statement Not My Family Values, for an Art Photo Index Exhibition, Dr. Rebecca Senf states, "Family is at the heart of how we identify ourselves." For the females within my immediate family and myself, the experi-ential and historical bond centered around the idea of a homeplace (and the belief that family traditions can only occur in that place, while among family and its keepsakes) greatly influences and informs our identities. Ties That Bind explores this idea through a visual investigation of we women in the family, objects within the house, the surrounding land, and family archives and traditions.

The Baker Girls

Sewing Kit

Mom's College Senior Portrait

Mother's Trinkets

Sweet Victoria

Skates in the Mulberries

Shannon

Small Head of Cattle

A Light Dusting

Katelyn and Her Horse

Katelyn's Hair

Kitchen Window

Victoria at the Table

Recipes

Mom and Her Window

Brianne

Bound Barbed Wire

Deedra

February's Flowerbed

Elizabeth

Winter Ices Over

Homeplace

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