“She Never Asked about My Daughters,” Portraits on Estrangement, 20"x24" Silver gelatin print

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“Don’t Ever Pray for Me Again,” Portraits on Estrangement,  20"x24", Silver gelatin print

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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.

“The Older I Get the More I Look Like Her,” Portraits on Estrangement, 20"x24", Silver gelatin print

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“She’s the Best Mother She Knows How to Be,” Portraits on Estrangement, 20"x24", Silver gelatin print

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“I Thought We had Plenty of Time,” Portraits on Estrangement, 20"x24", Silver gelatin print

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“I Love You,” Portraits on Estrangement, 

Estrangement, 20"x24", Silver gelatin print

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

Estrangement, 20"x24", Silver gelatin print

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

It,” Portraits on Estrangement, 20"x24", Silver gelatin print

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

Estrangement, 20"x24", Silver gelatin print

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“She Wants Someone that Never Existed," Portraits on

Estrangement, 20"x24", Silver gelatin print

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

Estrangement, 20"x24", Silver gelatin print

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

Portraits on

Estrangement, 20"x24", Silver gelatin print

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Twins, Portraits on

Estrangement, 20"x24", Silver gelatin print

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Installation view, Duke Gallery 2020

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Using Format