Scholastic Awards: Senior Emma Sulfsted, photography portfolio

Senior Emma Sulfsted received a Scholastic Gold Key portfolio for photography. Below is her award winning submission along with her artist’s statement, which expresses her thoughts regarding her work.

My work reflects upon the complexities of the human mind and personal identity. Through exploration of color theory, postmodernism as well as psychology, the work scratches into the various manners our minds work within our self-imposed constructs. Recycling the pieces of the mind that are scratched off, the work experiences small, quiet flashes of humanness–love, grace, regret, anger–all colliding and swirling to leave us only knowing futility and anxiety. Utilizing homemade sets and costumed characters, this series explores the self beyond the surface/layers of id and ego; highlighting the self as a self-manifesting device in the throes of desire. Perhaps this body of work are simply reflections on the changing tides of image-making to further understand the way my mind behaves, as anxiety, like water consumes a beach at high tide?

Influence is paramount and while I realize that I stand on the shoulders of the giants that came before (Carrie Mae Weems, Ryan McGinley, Gregory Crewdson, Simon Birch, Frida Kahlo) I seek to further my own vocabulary through blur, manipulations, digital editing and unique elements of space in portraiture. I constantly strive to create visuals that are my voice of the human mind and emotion secretly personified in our surrounding desires and anxieties.