HEADING HOME, DISCOVERING THE UNKNOWN

After meeting with Photography in high school, Sean Fitzgerald (Seattle, USA) spent a few time using the medium to document his travels around the U.S.
His approach to Photography, as well as the direction of his life, completely changed during his last semester at the University of Wisconsin, when he took an art photography course which allowed him to learn about the masters of Photography and, above all, to discover the myriad of possible processes to create an image.
Since then, Sean stopped conceiving the photographic image like a mere duplicate of the world and began his artistic path combining both digital and analog processes, choosing to highlight the imperfections and distortions of images, showing less regard for quality factors such as precision and trueness.

Unable to afford expensive tools, Sean Fitzgerald developed a unique aesthetic through the experimentation of alternative processes, without lending weight to the specific equipment and placing much more emphasis on the process, as the artist states: "I view each step of the photographic process as an opportunity to insert my vision into the final image, as well as an opportunity to introduce variables that are out of my control. […] My digital photography is created using an early model DSLR mounted with vintage lenses. This introduces digital noise while maintaining a classic feel. Using these tools also gives me more latitude for adjusting tone and color. […] My analog photography is mostly experimental. I develop much of my 35mm film at home using a c-41 press kit, and scan my negatives with a low resolution scanner".
His creative experimentation involves expired film and double exposures, as well as destroyed and manipulated negatives and aims at evoking, rather than representing.


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Even if Sean does create some stand-alone photography series, most of his work is created specifically to feature an individual image and some series are thought, named and curated only after creating the work, as in the case of Heading Home.
The pictures of the series were taken in 2015, while Sean returned to his hometown after exploring much of the United States and completing his undergraduate education.

The main purpose of Sean's comeback was to solve some personal problems and make meaning during a difficult period, through nourishing his creativity, driving and hiking that place full of heavy memories, translating his adventurous spirit into something artistic. Heading Home can be conceived as a return to self, since what ended up being captured was a series of work that dissects the broader theme of adventure and freedom into individual meaningful snapshots, including several self-portraits, a reflection of the great amount of introspection involved in his adventures which underlines the importance of the personal dimension of the series.
During those days, Sean used to go out and take pictures for hours on end, often seeking new locations. This exercise of walking and driving helped him to take his mind off of personal matters and turned out to be a healing experience to him.

Revisiting his experience together with the concept of coming back, Sean discovered a brand new aim of his work, as explained: "Though the work, in hindsight, is about coming home to my hometown to resolve issues externally, I found that the deeper meaning of the work is really about coming home internally and finding my voice, my power, and my center".

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