Helen Jones Photography

As a photographer, I seek out objects, sediments, imprints left behind, and things built up unintentionally. Marks on landscapes are echoed in interior spaces; I am enchanted by examining these traces and the mysteries they evoke. I often photograph where friends and loved ones live and work: where they weave and sew, play music through the house—discarding instruments in the spice rack, raise and slaughter sheep, pick wild pedicularis for tea, sleep under heaps of blankets and cook on a hot plate while saving up for a wood stove pipe. Small gestures of everyday economy and favoritism make their marks on these spaces and their way into my work. A Folgers coffee can nailed to a garage to hold up a coiled garden hose, a pair of dancing shoes waiting in the sunlight for an evening out, and a shirt mended many times yet not given up on.

The Dictionary of Geological Terms states that sediment is “solid fragmental material transported and deposited by wind, water, or ice... that forms in loose unconsolidated layers." I like this idea, so many things form in loose unconsolidated layers: rocks, postcards and leaflets on a refrigerator door, memories. Photography is known for capturing moments, singular points in time, the essence of an event distilled into one frame and rising above the rest. I am interested in another view—images and collections of images that collapse or accumulate time—palimpsestic build-up of temporal layers on a kitchen wall, old potatoes with wild Medusa-like sprouts jutting from them searching for soil, the hazy shape of a swaying tree. There is value in the makeup of our everyday lives.