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Shannon Palmer

Shannon Palmer

About Artist

Basic Information

  • Artist Statement

    My photographic work explores the relationships between people and their everyday environments, paying particular attention to the rural settings of my childhood. I seek to understand how people fit into and are shaped by the communities in which they find themselves to be a minority, out-of-place, an outsider: an LGBT person in a small Southern town, a liberal in a conservative family, or other discordant combinations of self and surroundings. I consider my own coming-of-age experience—as a gay youth immersed in the subcultures of skateboarding and punk music while living in a conservative rural town—as the foundation that now motivates and informs my current approach to photography. I hope to discover and display the common ground on which people stand in these communities in spite of their differences. Many of my subjects are family members or long-time friends who still live in these towns, as well as others I’ve connected with more recently who share a similar history.
    I've chosen to capture the majority of this work on film or gelatin silver paper negatives—most often in medium or large format— as this process allows me to connect more fully with my subject. The process is slow and often requires that I sit with my subjects for a long time. I process and print the film myself, extending the time and therefore my intimate connection with each image, each story, allowing time to consider my role in the lives, places, and homes that I capture. My own relationship to these communities and differing ideologies is always in question, especially in this current political climate of division and mistrust of “the other." I often experience an uncomfortable sense of dissonance when I work, as I feel both a strong connection to my past memories and relationships with family and friends, as well as the desire to pull away from a place in which I never believed I fit. My work, therefore, brings a sense of harmony or resolution to my own competing impressions of home and individuality. The visual stories I present seek to open viewer’s minds about how they interact with and think about people who live and think differently. In this respect, I aim to counter the urge to diminish those who hold opposite political or religious views, and instead consider the quotidian humanity of those people.
    I’m inspired by the work of photographic artists such as Stephen Shore and William Eggelston and their ability to document the seemingly trivial moments of American life as if each were a deceptively simple setting for a poignant scene in a novel. I also find inspiration in Alec Soth’s mastery at capturing the spirit of individuals existing in unusual environments scattered throughout small towns up and down the Mississippi.
  • Resume

    Shannon Palmer was born and raised in Minden, Louisiana, and was a little teenage skate punk in the 1980s. She attended Louisiana Tech in the early 90s and majored in Studio Art, which she loved, but she really wanted to be a photography major instead. She ended up as a painter and graphic designer for the first decade and a half of her adult life, until she finally decided to put all of her energy into photography. She prefers to shoot on medium and large format film cameras for any artistic work, and she still works in a darkroom on a daily basis. She also loves to type about herself in the third person.

    EDUCATION

    Studio Art / Louisiana Tech University / 1994-1997

    SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

    2003:

    April 21, 2003: minicine? swampland gallery, Shreveport, LA.; Projet Mobilivre Featuring Paintings by Shannon Palmer

    2004

    June 18, 2004: minicine? swampland gallery, Shreveport, LA.; Craig Baldwin film screening “Blows Against the Empire” Shreveport, LA featuring select paintings.

    August 14: Lee Hardware Gallery, Shreveport, LA.; Aurora Picture show screening and art exhibition

    September 25: Lee Hardware Gallery, Shreveport, LA.; Gadabout Traveling Film Festival featuring select paintings.

    2005:

    April 3, 2005: Columbia Cafe, Shreveport, LA.; Skipgo Farewell Group exhibit.

    2008:

    December 13, 2008: Lee Hardware Gallery, in conjuncion with minicine? swampland presents Christmas Under Da Ground group exhibit.

    2009:

    December 11, 2009: minicine? swampland gallery, Shreveport, LA. CONSENSUS : Group exhibit curated by Shannon Palmer.

    2010:

    September 9, 2010: minicine? swampland gallery, Shreveport, LA. North Louisiana Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Viaje a la Luna - group show featuring select paintings.

    2011:

    November 11, 2011: minicine? swampland gallery, Shreveport, LA. Balance: an Exhibition of Art, Life and Biochemical Metamorphosis group show curated by Shannon Palmer

    2015:

    October 2, 2015: minicine? swampland gallery, Shreveport, LA. SkipGo Reunion exhibition.

Contact Information

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