Installation view, Duke Gallery 2020.

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“Portraits on Estrangement” looks at adult parental estrangement through analog portraiture. The series of 12-black and white portraits considers longing and loss in human relationships, and how we move forward when things fall apart. At each portrait session Smith talked with the sitter about their experience, making only eight 4x5 negatives during each session. This restraint, along with the unmediated space offered by the large format camera, facilitated a deep connection between Smith and her participants. Short phrases were chosen for titles over more complete narratives in part to prevent a clinical dissection of the sitters. This invites the viewer to connect with the portraits from their own longings and losses, and move towards empathy — the ability to be with another. The intuitive nature of Smith’s work is seen in her ability to find the critical point to release the shutter in each conversation.

“Don’t Ever Pray for Me Again,” Portraits on Estrangement, 

Photography,  20"x24" Analog silver gelatin print on watercolor photo rag paper.

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“She Never Asked about My Daughters,” Portraits on Estrangement, Photography, 20"x24" Analog silver gelatin print on watercolor photo rag paper.

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“The Older I Get the More I Look Like Her,” Portraits on Estrangement, 

Photography, 20"x24" Analog silver gelatin print on watercolor photo rag paper.

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“She’s the Best Mother She Knows How to Be,” Portraits on Estrangement, 

Photography, 20"x24" analog silver gelatin print on watercolor photo rag paper.

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“I Felt Foreign in My Own Family,” Portraits on Estrangement, 

Photography, 20"x24" Analog silver gelatin print on watercolor photo rag paper.

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“I Love You,” Portraits on Estrangement, 

Photography, 20"x24" Analog silver gelatin print on watercolor photo rag paper.

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“I Thought We had Plenty of Time,” Portraits on Estrangement, Photography, 20"x24", Analog silver gelatin print on watercolor photo rag paper.

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“If I Don’t Speak with Her again I’m Okay with

It,” Portraits on Estrangement, Photography, 20"x24" Analog silver gelatin print on watercolor photo rag paper.

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“I Can’t Fix Your Problems Anymore,” Portraits on Estrangement, 

Photography, 20"x24" Analog silver gelatin print on watercolor photo rag paper.

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“She Wants Someone that Never Existed," Portraits on Estrangement, 

Photography, 20"x24" Analog silver gelatin print on watercolor photo rag paper.

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“[I’m] Walking on Eggshells All the Time,” Portraits on Estrangement, 

Photography, 20"x24" Analog silver gelatin print on watercolor photo rag paper.

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"Hating Him was Just Me Wanting a Relationship with Him," 

Portraits on Estrangement, Photography, 20"x24" Analog silver gelatin print 

on watercolor photo rag paper.

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Twins, Portraits on Estrangement, Photography, 

20"x24" Analog silver gelatin print on watercolor photo rag paper.

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