Valerie Jackson is a photography/mixed media artist finishing her senior year at UCSC. Inspired by her mother, she started photographing her life from a young age, but didn’t decide to pursue a degree in art until her Sophomore year of college.
Valerie’s work documents the human experience through the traces that individuals leave on their environments, and how their desires, fears, and emotional states are etched into the physical world. The viewer is invited to explore the space of the photograph with autonomy and curiosity, often guided by writing or other visual elements. Her recent experiments have combined photography with film, sound, and light to create more immersive experiences and push the boundaries of what is considered “photography”. She has recently received an Irwin project grant to support a photographic bookmaking project, and was also awarded the Undergraduate Digital Arts and Research Fellowship, during which she is creating an animated short film.
Obscura explores how the interior mindspace influences the perception of the external world. One’s experience of their environment is a constant dynamic conflux of emotional states, memory, and associations, creating a completely individualistic interpretation. Obscura brings this mindspace into the physical world, photographing locations illuminated by abstract projected light and shadow. This project plays with space by drawing the viewer away from the main walls of the gallery and into the corner, a place of introspection and predominance of thought. The end of a space is instead transformed into a beginning, inviting the viewer to wander forward into the photographic environment. The changing shadows of the words against the walls act as a live projection, mirroring the technique of the photographs and performing the dynamic transformation of place in real time.