Caroline Tompkins, Ohio, USA

Suburbia is a common theme. It is familiar, commonplace and comfortable. Throughout photography's history Suburbia has been discovered, documented and celebrated. It exists as a touch that affects every house, like a domestic scent taking a tour around a house, picking up the apricots and moving them onto the coffee table. It is patterns on the tables, the curtains and shirts of the family that live in the house. It is walks on the beautiful land. It is the bright, oh so bright, shop fronts showcasing famous characters and gigantic cuddly imitating rock musicians. It is plastic a muriel, a religious figure standing in the corner of the living room, it is the history of the country reduced to a single plastic figure. Its skin tough, dirty, shirt opened and clothes slung over their shoulder. It is suburbia, American icons of the past and future.

It is a state that will never pass, as its aspirational value will inspire generation after generation. The red cups of pool parties, full of punch, beer and good spirit. The waiting in front of a mirror picking out a shirt that says both smart and casual. The button notched open revealing a comfortable state of being, in the house full of fresh hope and joy. It is American. It is great and aspirational in many ways.

The depictions by Caroline show it from an insiders perspective. They separate from the view of a family member and raise questions about their immediate surroundings. But her position is a visual treat, dealing with each encounter perfectly. They are warm, as pictures, but are detached enough to take a step back and observe, removing immediate emotional connections and viewing her own life through the eyes of an observer instead of the family member she may be.

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