INTRODUCING BRIDGET COLLINS
I was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, then I moved to Brooklyn for college, and just two weeks ago I dropped out of school and moved back to Minnesota. I feel like Minnesota has this intense, midwestern magnetism that is really hard to escape. Most of the people I know who skipped town after high school have moved back. I think Minnesota is a place you really appreciate after you’ve been away for a while. There’s lots of space and wilderness there, unlike Brooklyn, which can feel pretty suffocating most of the time. I’m twenty years old. I started taking pictures midway through high school, kind of as a substitute for making videos. I had always been really into making movies with my friends, usually sparked by boredom. For some reason we were really into recreating episodes of Degrassi Jr. High, which just really speaks to my coolness level in high school. But eventually my friends patience wore a little thin, understandibly, because I’d always be making them act in my dumb movies, so taking pictures was kind of a compromise. I just wanted to remember things, I felt like I had this amazing life, these beautiful friends, and I wanted a way to share it with people. I also felt drawn to photography because it held this awesome balance between interacting with people, adventuring, being out in the world, etc, with the isolation of the darkroom, where you could be by yourself and analyze all of the things you experienced. That way of working really connected with me way more than drawing or writing. I think I mostly take photographs because it helps me sort out feelings, ideas, anything thats been stirring around in my mind. Taking photographs also makes me feel more connected to the world and to other people. When you photograph an object or your surroundings you really have to slow down and think about it, analyze it. I think it prevents me from taking things for granted. If I wasn’t spending time taking pictures, I’d probably be working on other creative forms I enjoy, like music or drawing. Hopefully, when I’m old, I’ll have a great scrapbook and be able to remember all the things I thought were weird or interesting or beautiful when I was twenty years old. I primarily use a Mamiya RB67 because I’ve owned it since highschool and am pretty lazy about trying out new equipment. I could never even bring myself to buy my own 35mm, I still probably wouldn’t have one it wasn’t for my ex-boyfriend, who gave me one for Christmas. I took this picture at a very transitory stage of my life, about a week ago, when I just dropped out of college and had been having some extremely painful medical issues. As I was recovering at home, I would go on walks, and I started to notice the ice breaking on the lake, and the snow melting all around me. Its such a funny thing, because I hate winter so much, yet during the awkward seasonal shift from winter to spring, I always start to experience a panic, like I don’t know how to live without the snow I’ve been forced to endured for four months. Similarly, that’s how I felt during my period of recovery, sort of stuck in a limbo, unsure what to do now that I was well enough not to just lay in bed all day. So I went outside to wash my hair in the frozen lake, and stick my hands in the last few remaining piles of snow, just so I could really feel the cold one last time before spring came, to make myself more able to let go. Dru Donovan is a photographer who also hails from Minnesota. She has one photograph in her black & white series of a woman having her hair washed at a salon that I cannot get out of my mind. It really highlights the warped perception of intimacy you gain with age. How you pay a stranger to wash your hair when it would seem outlandish to have a friend or family member do so. I love work that explores physical closeness between people.