A Load Of Baldridge
Another edition of Silvershotz magazine is squeezed through my letterbox and as usual, I rip off the polythene wrapper and devour the contents with a cuppa.
This time I don’t have to turn more than a few pages before I find something that simply takes my breath away. By the time I reach page 8, I am transported to the world of the fantastical imaginings of Jamie Baldridge, lens-based artist (don’t go calling him a photographer) and Professor of Photography at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette.
His images are, we are told, devised and composed in Baldridge’s mind before being realised using photography and the usual digital manipulation techniques. And what a mind! Baldridge makes Tim Burton’s work seem like documentary! Officially, and according to the Silvershotz blurb, Baldridge’s work is informed by the discovery, and systematic absorption of children’s literature, starting with (but certainly not ending with) a dusty copy of “101 Fairy Tales“. His work, we are told, refers to stories such as “The Little Matchstick Girl” (or “The Little Match Girl”?), but goes far beyond that, incorporating more adult concepts and themes.
The work is as sumptuous as it is bizarre, each image very crafted and beautifully lit. Baldridge apparently strove for an “Old World” look and so travelled UK and Europe recording thousands of scenes and textures for later incorporation into his images. I do think this comes across. There is a very traditional feel to the settings and “props” but nothing traditional about the final images.
I love these images. I hope you do too.
Find more at www.jamiebaldridge.com