Artist Spotlight: Annu Palakunnathu Matthew

Click on the frame to play the animation. © Annu Palakunnathu Matthew

Re- Generation

“When flipping through a family album, we become more cognizant of the histories and memories of our own and other families. My work builds on the presumed veracity of photographs to spur a critical reflection on the power of photography and it’s effect on the perception of memory, family and the warping of cultures over time.

The old images reignite memories and, like a time machine, take us back to a different time. Using digital technology, I reorient the viewer’s connection to time as I collapse the presumed progression of its borders, so the past and present appear here in the same virtual space.

The final ephemeral animation is built from archival images and recent photographs of three or more generations of women. The digital technology and animation makes it appear that the old and new images magically flow one into another. This malleable flowing object leaves the viewer to wonder where the past and present overlap and warp. Here, history is distorted, evoking a new dimension of memories, which is uniquely digital.” (artist website)

SPE recently announced Annu Palakunnathu Matthew as the recipient of the inaugural SPE Future Focus Project Support Grant for her project proposal Re- Generation From Immigrant to Native: Imaging the New American.

The $5,000 SPE professional award recognizes one professional member’s exceptional creative photographic work and directly supports the creative and professional development of a new project or completion of an existing project created in traditional still photography, digital video/film, multimedia, installation, or created for web-based platforms. The results of the funded project will be presented at the 2015 national conference in New Orleans. Funding for this grant is made possible in part by SPE’s Future Focus Campaign, representing donations and support from members and friends.

Matthew’s work stood out for its conceptual strength and innovative presentation, which animates photographs from historical family albums with present day re-enactments to explore generational transitions. New work funded by this grant will be used to photograph multiple generations of immigrants across America representing the new immigrant population in the US. Through digital technology old and new images flow into one another, revealing the blurring spectrum of the generations moving from immigrant to native. Examples of the process can be viewed on Matthew’s Website.

Many thanks to the jurors from SPE’s Awards and Recognitions Committee:
Erika Gentry (Chair,) Claude Baillargeon and Amy Holmes George.

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