In the Cut with Preleah Campbell

May 17, 2020 · Archives, Columns + Series, Community, Essays + Reviews, TRACE

Preleah Campbell reflects on how something as simple as going outdoors can reveal new understanding of self and the world around us. This photo essay is published as part of In The Cut, a project of TRACE (Teens Re-Imagining Art, Community, & Environment).

This photo essay is presented by TRACE (Teens Re-Imagining Art, Community, & Environment) and Alt_ as part of In the Cut, a virtual exhibition that explores daily life during quarantine through the lenses of Catherine Arroyo, Preleah Campbell, Danelise Comas, Paris Dority, and Darius Hazen. Catch the full virtual exhibition here.

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Artist Statement by Preleah Campbell:
It’s often said that a picture can tell a thousand words.

It’s not everyday that we go through a worldwide pandemic while people are able to tell the stories of how they’re feeling as a result of it. When I first started taking photos, my work focused on things around me. While in quarantine, I’ve taken pictures of things in my space since I wasn’t going anywhere or doing anything.

As time has passed, my work has become more vivid and it begins to tell a story—my story. As I went outdoors more, I began to document things outside my home and the community around me. This gave me the chance to see how drastically things have changed, not only within myself, but with the people and things around me.

I’ve seen people wearing personal protective equipment. The neighborhood seems inhabited even though we can’t go anywhere in any ways we please. This shows me how going outside can change your point of view; going outside is tranquil and freeing.

Taking pictures in black-and-white gives the person who’s looking at the image a chance to imagine what the picture looks like, in color; the experience is abstract and imaginative.

Since working with TRACE, I’ve learned new things about photography and what it means to take a good photo. Images can be interpreted as many things and that can be powerful.

I believe there is a timeline to my work, and that’s how I chose to portray the times we’re going through now.

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Preleah Campbell

Preleah Campbell is a native of Chicago and loves to write and read. She currently attends Holy Trinity High School where she is entering her junior year. Outside of school she is a part of Teens Re-Imagining Art, Community & Environment (TRACE), an arts program through the Chicago Park District, where she took part in a photography program led by teaching artist and Alt Space Chicago. Preleah wishes to one day become a doctor, and maybe use photography to document within her field.