Mary Quin’s work explores a paradox of photography, which makes fleeting ideas and feelings into permanent images. She draws on concepts from anthropology and philosophy to explore the space between camera and subject that often mirrors the spaces within and between people. Working with an 8x10 view camera and platinum/palladium prints, Quin stays grounded in the historical roots and questions of photography—permanence, concerns of objectivity, and the nature of human existence and relationships. After earning a BS in Anthropology from Millsaps College, she then earned a MA in philosophy from the University of Southern Mississippi and an MFA from Savannah College of Art and Design. Mary currently lives and works in Mobile, Alabama. The Deep South serves as a crucible for her continued work.
Our family relationships can be conflicting and contradictory, yet they inform and define so much of who we are. My challenge as an artist is how to envision and portray this paradox. Liminal Space is defined as a transitional state between the known and unknown, a threshold of sensory experience. In my photographs, this emotional and psychological state is frequently informed by the reflections and projections that fill the space within our relationships. By incorporating surrounding windows, mirrors and, when outside, puddles of water, I establish a rhythm of the psychological complexities portrayed through non-physical space. I created the images of my family with an 8x10 view camera. While I prepare my camera and my subjects for the session, inevitably during this time, the unpredictability of personal dynamics allow these elusive emotions to be revealed. I create my final prints by placing the 8x10 negative in direct contact with paper that I have hand-applied platinum/palladium coating; mats are cut to the edge of the image frame for final presentation. (Note: I have included as my 10th image a photograph of the print unmated, revealing the actual brush strokes inherent to this process).