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Jen Ervin

Jen Ervin’s black and white polaroid work, The Arc, is otherworldly. Set in the rural landscape of South Carolina, these images were made with her husband and three daughters on land that has sustained several generations of their family. At first glance, they appear deceptively simple —immediately inviting the viewer in with their beauty only to beckon them to linger a little longer. As the viewer remains engaged with these intimate photographs, they discover a private world rich in complexity, history, and mysticism. Ervin’s polaroids are curious illusions that explore the guarded heart of the south. Dive in and see for yourself.

ARTIST BIOGRAPHY Jen Ervin (b. 1971) is a visual artist living in Charleston, South Carolina. Her most recent work, The Arc of Summer, bridges polaroid with experimental filmmaking to create a rhythmic exploration of intimacy, measured in seasons and sequenced repetition, during her family’s retreats along the Little Pee Dee River. Ervin holds a BA in Fine Art from Francis Marion University and an MFA in Graphic Design from Boston University. Since 2014, Ervin has actively exhibited her work in galleries and museums alongside notable photographers such as Sally Mann, William Christenberry, and Andy Warhol. She was a Critical Mass Finalist in 2016. Recent publications include TIME Lightbox , Feature Shoot , Lenscratch , and Don’t Take Pictures . Recent exhibitions include Currents 2017 at the Ogden Museum, Instant Gratification ( a traveling exhibition) curated by Ain’t Bad, Small Works at the Center of Fine Art Photography and Along the River a solo exhibition at the Florence Museum’s Water’s Gallery.

PROJECT STATEMENT The Arc (of Summer) is a collection of Polaroid prints that I began in 2012 and remains in progress. It celebrates the ethereal world of childhood, the waxing and waning of summer, and the wild desire to remain in its embrace. These images were made with my family near our historic cabin set deep in the woods of South Carolina along the Little Pee Dee River. Here we weave our southern family history into the present to create our own mythology. Ark Lodge, our cabin of refuge, is a place where time stands still. While the cabin itself was built over 70 years ago, it rests secluded in a landscape that has managed to escape modernization for centuries. Whenever we arrive, we instantly slow down, breathe deeper and become enveloped into its hauntingly, beautiful presence. This is especially so on long summer days when it is unbearably hot, humid and buggy. Somehow we have all learned to quiet our minds and move only in small increments to maintain as much coolness, as we can. Consequently, these slow actions deepen our awareness of our surroundings. We automatically loose our sense of time, and it can sometimes feel as if we are floating in and out of dream world. I was led to use Polaroid as medium for this project because each image immediately becomes an object of experience. There is a certain level and quality of intimacy I am looking for in creating my images. Polaroid provides me with one-of-a-kind imperfections that evoke a familiar and nostalgic vulnerability. They’re magical. Despite their smallness, they can contain the uncontainable and reveal a universal humanness. – Jen Ervin, Ark Lodge, Summer 2016.


Instagram: jenervin_

all images ©Jen Ervin

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