Born and Raised: Reflections of a World Set Aside
Outsiders have long fictionalized the narrative surrounding Appalachia. As a resident of West Virginia I have always been aware of the views others hold of my home, and they have guided me to create my own version of life in the hills. My Appalachia is a granulated depiction based on the false impressions of others, my idealizations and personal experiences.
Light plays an important role in how I understand this place. The warm southern sun creates a glow that pours over the mountains, rivers and forests creating long shadows, dark recesses and gray mists that blanket the landscape. This unique quality of light is inherent to the hills and provides a catalyst to the imagination- a backdrop that becomes both magnificent and eerie. It is its own character within my story of Appalachia.
The people who inhabit the photographs are my upper middle class family and friends in West Virginia. They play slightly exaggerated roles of themselves within sets I have constructed using their homes, furniture and objects. After I create my depiction of each character I carefully assemble the images to build my concept of home. The end product is a strand of life pulled from the whole.
About Aaron –
Aaron Blum is an artist from Appalachia, which is the subject of his photographic work. He exhibits both nationally and internationally at such places as; The Halpert Biennial: Appalachian State University, the Phodar Biennial in Bulgaria; Aaron won the juror’s choice award for the 2011 project competition at Center the Santa Fe Center for Photography, and was a 2012 honorable mention selection of the Magenta Foundation emerging artist award. He received his BFA in Photography from West Virginia University and his MFA in Photography from Syracuse University.
For more information about Aaron and to see more of his work, log onto his website .