kristen joy watts

“Seven years ago, when I co-curated an exhibition of works by Dionne Simpson, I was also recovering from Hodgkin’s disease. After the exhibition was over, Simpson gave me the most minimal of the works, and my favourite of her deconstructed canvases. Now, this piece hangs in my bedroom, and I wake up to it every morning - a daily reminder of the generosity of the human spirit, and the gems that await you after life’s struggles.”

Patricia Ritacca was photographed in Toronto on May 16th. You can follow her just-launched curatorial collective on Instagram.

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Photographing Everyday Objects That Make Us Who We Are

They’re oft forgotten under the bed, nestled between some books on a shelf, or tucked away in a closet. A wooden box, a ring, a photograph – we all own those seemingly unremarkable objects that are, in fact, bursting with personal meaning. Revealing their story gives a glimpse into our past, shining a faint light into the depths of our soul.

That’s what Kristen Joy Watts and Ramsay de Give are doing with The Weight of Objects – a photography blog that features portraits of people side by side with ordinary, but prized, possessions. A founding member of the New York Times’ photo blog, Lens, Watts is the editor, and Ramsay’s the photographer – using a medium format “tank of a camera,” as he describes it, that was discontinued in 2004. (He is also colorblind.) We talked to the duo about light, color, and finding subjects in unexpected places.

How did The Weight of Objects come together?

Kristen Joy Watts: I wanted to match quiet portraits with a storytelling method that would reveal just a hint of each person portrayed. I thought that asking each subject to share the story of a treasured object would achieve that. And I knew that Ramsay would capture each object with the requisite awe and wonder.

Keep reading

“Isadora Duncan’s story - being an eccentric, reckless, courageous woman in a time when it would have been nearly impossible to be so - changed the way I thought about my own life. I look for this book every time I’m in a new bookstore and pick up copies to give to friends. Even if I lost it I feel like fragments of her stories are kind of part of me now.”

Sarah May Taylor was photographed in Toronto on May 20th. You can follow her on Instagram.

“As a product designer, I have always had a special place in my heart for objects. I found this old-school cap gun on a routine hunt in my basement and knew it would be with me forever. In many ways, this toy gun is a lot like me - small, harmless, classic, nostalgic.”

Michael Madjus was photographed in Toronto on May 16th. You can follow him on Instagram.