James Reddington is an artist and photographer based out of Brooklyn, NY. After graduating with a BA in photography from California State University Sacramento, he set out for New York City to pursue an MFA in Photography at the School of Visual Arts. His work has been featured in several group exhibitions in California and New York. His work deals with memory, dreams, storytelling, and how photography brings all of them together.
The history of blue collar, American working class is a complex narrative, often overshadowed by the “rags to riches” tales of those who made it. Coal mining was once an industry that employed a staggering number of men over multiple generations, creating an historic, visually striking archetype for the blue collar workforce. The story of the American miner, however, is more often about not making it – there are no riches, only rags and coal. James Reddington (MFA, School of Visual Arts) explores this story through his own family history, piecing together a legacy rooted in the now-defunct mining landscape of Pennsylvania.
Coal represents the central motif in the on-going project, “PA,” a series of photographs and collected ephemera assembled to recreate an elusive family history in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Reddington approaches the landscape as a point of departure for exploration, visually composing his own “coming of age” story. Reddington captures the remnants of a society abandoned by a failed mining economy following the 1959 Knox Mine Disaster, and through this examines the relationship between his grandfather and father, as well as his own connections to his paternal heritage.
“PA” depicts a personal moment of discovery, layered between the misfortunes of a forgotten industry, a mysterious family origin, and the decay of a community.
To view more of James’ work please visit his website.