Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, is pleased to present Julia Fullerton-Batten 2005-2012, a solo exhibition by British photographer Julia Fullerton-Batten. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, November 1, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Julia Fullerton-Batten 2005-2012 runs from November 1 through December 8.
Julia Fullerton-Batten 2005-2012 comprises a survey of works from Julia Fullerton-Batten’s five series executed over the past seven years. Each series, Mothers & Daughters (2012), Awkward (2011), In Between (2009-2010), School Play (2007), and Teenage Stories (2005), takes a unique approach on examining the challenges and expressions of adolescence. The exhibition consists of a small grouping of key images from each series.
Fullerton-Batten’s newest series Mothers & Daughters is inspired by her and her sisters’ relationship with their mother, portrays the complex and sometimes challenging relationship between mothers and their daughters. Her use of eerie artificial light gives the final photographs a theatrical, otherworldly atmosphere. Through depictions of infant, adolescent, middle-aged, and elderly subjects in this series, Fullerton-Batten showcases the changing nature of mother-daughter relationships throughout their lifespan.
In Awkward the artist further examines the complex relationships encountered during adolescence. In these works, she delves into interactions between the sexes, creating a sense of heightened stress. While there may be underlying sexual tension, largely hormonal, the teens lack the maturity to know how to handle their very adult impulses. This observation of the psychological intricacies and the dynamics of post-childhood development mirrors the motivation behind Mothers & Daughters, providing us with additional insight into the lives of teenagers.
In Between (2009-2010), depicts an expression of adolescence as young women in sprung in air juxtaposed against flawless, pristine, and spectacular interiors. Each young woman is suspended in midair, dress, hair and body sprung in motionless chaos. Each figure embodies an echoing loneliness as these young teenagers mature into adulthood. Fullerton-Batten captures the emotive nature of adolescence casting an image of the inner uncertainties and confusion.
School Play (2007) casts a depiction of schoolgirls dressed and behaving in an identical orderly fashion while one girl is consistently falling out of line. The central theme of this series examines the bullying and humiliation teenage girls feel amongst each other. Fullerton-Batten also draws a cultural comparison setting the images at both Western and Chinese schools.
Fullerton-Batten’s seminal 2005 series Teenage Stories, documents the start of her study of teen girls. Book, Broken Eggs, P&O, and Reflection in Water, previously unavailable prints, will be featured in the exhibition. These works have been extremely popular since their inclusion in Fullerton-Batten’s 2007 book Teenage Stories. In this series, she heightens and emphasizes the girls’ feelings of not belonging by photographing them as giants amid miniature villages. The pieces, while visually stunning, also capture the vulnerability of youth.
All of Fullerton-Batten’s series show regular people who, although quite static and emotionless, truly bring us closer to understanding the inner workings of the teenage mind. Jenkins Johnson Gallery is proud to present her first San Francisco solo show.
Julia Fullerton-Batten lives and works in London. Mothers & Daughters (2012), Awkward (2011), In Between (2009-2010), School Play (2007), and Teenage Stories (2005) have received much critical acclaim and have been featured in the ARTnews, New Yorker, Le Monde, and the Financial Times, among others. Her work was the cover image for Thames & Hudson’s 2009 book A Guide to Collecting Contemporary Photography. Fullerton-Batten has shown at esteemed international institutions such as Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai; Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid; and a solo exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London.