Isolated Dwellings by Mary Stroud and Tina Tran

The two Drawers photographers whose work is on display this week, Mary Stroud and Tina Tran, both focus on isolation particularly in their homes and neighborhoods: Stroud photographs the abandoned dwellings on the remote Arctic coast of Alaska, while Tran’s work explores the intimate moments that take place inside her brother’s home.

Mary Stroud is a fine art photographer residing 300 miles above the arctic circle in Barrow, Alaska.  Originally born and raised in the deep South, Stroud has always enjoyed photography as a hobby but when she moved to Alaska in 2006 she began using her camera more often to focus on her photographic projects and the results are beautiful.

For her series featured in the drawers, Stroud photographed abandoned neighborhoods and dwellings that are slowly deteriorating on the coast of Alaska. In her statement she explains: “Where I find isolation and vulnerability, the Inupiat traditionally find protection and sustenance. It is a distinction that weighs on my mind as I struggle emotionally with my surroundings. I think this is what first attracted me to photographing the dwellings in my community. They don't belong. Houses stand out conspicuously against the landscape, vestiges of an outside culture, my culture, one that has fatefully assumed dominance.” She strives to answer the questions “What lies within? A healthy household that is warm and inviting? Or one that is cold and dark, succumbing to deterioration within as well as without. Hope or despair?”

Tina Tran is a young photographer who explores her presence in her brother's home by photographing his living quarters with her Mamiya RZ67 camera. With the use of warm light and color, Tran photographs every-day objects that speak of her brother's lifestyle. Tran's photographs successfully depicts a sanctuary that seems to be uninhibited. These photographs give the viewer an idea of an individual who prefers to be unaccompanied - potentially comfortable with the idea of loneliness. Although there is no human presence, Tran makes this sofa look inviting as it appears to be velvet from the warm light.

Tran's statement explains "In a transient state where I am constantly on the edge of the unknown, I explore the only space that has remained constant over the past year. Currently living in my brother's living room, I investigate one of the many facets of the "post-grad life," and document moments of struggle, growth, and a hope for renewal. I am interested in the ideas of response, emotion, repetition and frequent these areas while adapting to living in a private/public space."

- Kory Jean Kingsley