Winona Barton-Ballentine

First Place Winner - Winona Barton-Ballentine
After living in twenty-one houses I began to establish a methodology for inhabiting domestic space on a tight schedule. When given the chance to settle down I planted roots; collected old fabric, started to knit and sew, painted every room, and bought cookbooks on Ebay that had belonged to faceless American grandmothers. I created an imagined family history.
The home environment is my studio. I attempt to overcome the limitations of circumstance by playing with the subtle, hidden meaning (cultural and environmental) of interior spaces and exterior places that people choose, both consciously and subconsciously, to surround themselves with. Function is altered by treatment when the camera uses flatness, time, frame, and focus to confuse and relocate meaning. I experiment with printing methods that evoke different photographic techniques throughout history, from vintage cookbooks to gelatin silver prints. By transforming my subjects in numerous ways, even everyday objects and spaces obtain the potential to outgrow their original purposes; something that perhaps (at present) only exists within the space of a photograph.

Winona Barton-Ballentine was born in Binghamton, New York in 1980. During her undergraduate years at Bard College in upstate New York, she learned about the physical and formal aspects of making photographs. It was there that she also began what is now a thirteen-year exploration of homes and domestic environments with a focus on land and family tradition. After years of working as a photographer in New York and Vermont, Barton-Ballentine graduated with an MFA from the ICP-Bard photography program. During that time she was awarded an exchange grant from the Bruni-Sarkozy Foundation to study at the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie in Arles, France. Winona currently lives in New York making photographs, books, music, and food. Her images have been exhibited nationally, and published internationally. In 2014 Ovenly NYC Baking Company will publish their first cookbook with photographs by Barton-Ballentine.

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