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My mom gave me my first diary when I was about eleven. It scared me to death. All that blank. I had absolutely no idea what to say. The cover was white leather with a gold band, and there was a lock and a key. I remember hiding the key and the diary in separate places, as if my world was huge.

It is my diary with which I began this body of work. A response to the initial stages of this work from friends, students, other artists, and their good-humored trust has placed more of these little gems in my hand. It really doesn't matter whose diaries they are. Though they are all different, what one sees is always familiar. These pages are humble yet powerful attempts to draft a self. And visually, they are beautiful, emotive drawings.

No one seems to disagree with me when I say there's something compelling about these images. Maybe it's because we're so inundated by the media with narrative that is manipulated and inflated that these honest little private struggles to say something touch us at the core. The eye with which we see them now is not the eye of the young writer, and that distance is interesting, surprising. Maybe the connection between the adolescent girl and the adult woman, or the diary page and the studio wall, is closer than I think.

These 4" x 5" negatives are "contact printed" so the print is small, like the diary page itself. The material that I have chosen for these images is called "printing-out paper" which is specifically designed for contact printing and has been in use since the 19th century. Traditionally, printing-out paper is gold-toned and results in deep, rich, purple-blacks. In working with this paper I have begun to alter the process in trying to achieve a range of colors, which underline the turmoil of the writer and give the language its own body.




daybook page (dyptych), front and back with crossed out entry, each 4" x 5", polaroid negative on P.O.P

 

 

february 25 (diary page of a twelve-year-old girl), 4"x5". polaroid negative on P.O.P



 

february 7 (diary page of a twelve-year-old girl), 4"x5". polaroid negative on P.O.P



 

january 8 (diary page of a twelve-year-old girl), 4"x5". polaroid negative on P.O.P


 

page with elvis (diary page of a twelve-year-old girl), 4"x5". polaroid negative on P.O.P


 

may 12 (diary page of a twelve-year-old girl), 4"x5". polaroid negative on P.O.P


 
 

may 27 (diary page of a twelve-year-old girl), 4"x5". polaroid negative on P.O.P



 

clear and sunny (diary page of a twelve-year-old girl), 4"x5". polaroid negative on P.O.P


 
 

coconut cakes and macaroons (dyptych), front and back of folded recipe page, each 5" x 4", polaroid negative on P.O.P


 
 


































ARTIST BIO

Judith Taylor is a professor of photography in the Fine Arts Department at Arcadia University, situated just outside the city limits of Philadelphia. She received her MFA from The Rhode Island School of Design and a BA from The Pennsylvania State University. Her photographs and related work have been shown at Eastern State Penitentiary (Philadelphia), The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Visual Studies Workshop (Rochester, NY), Moore College of Art and Design (Philadelphia), Gallagher Gallery of The Royal Hibernian Academy (Dublin, Ireland), Beaver College Art Gallery (Glenside, PA), Temple Gallery (Philadelphia), Delaware Center for Contemporary Art (Wilmington, DE), Houston Center for Photography (Houston, TX), Swarthmore College, Rutgers University, and Bryn Mawr College. She has received numerous fellowships and awards for her work, including a Independence Foundation Fellowship, a Leeway Grant for Excellence, and several Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Visual Arts Fellowships. Her work is included in the collections of The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Bryn Mawr College, Lehigh University, the Allentown Art Museum, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, and the corporate collections of Johnson & Johnson and Price/Waterhouse.

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