My name is Colton Wheatley. I am an architect first and photographer second. The intersection of these two mediums is the constant need to train the eye to see, which is the exact reason I picked up a camera and have never turned back. Cameras have always been the tool I use to document moments of architectural details and atmospheres. I aim to create images which feel as if they are extruded drawings existing in reality. Photography, for me, is the search for quiet spaces that have been organized purely by time and routine. My work is influenced by the aesthetic ideals of Wabi Sabi and the book “In Praise of Shadows” by Jun’ichiro Tanizaki. Time is an artist and shadows define its brushstrokes.
Two-Way Mirrors is a collection of film photographs meant to explore the pain, desire, and strife experienced in the pursuit of establishing a secure home. For most, modern living is watching the dream of owning a home melt into a bloodbath of financial hurdles and accumulation of debt. This gore has turned the idea of homeownership into a mere fantasy for the vast majority of the population, leaving some to only participate from the outside looking in.
Imagine yourself on a lonely walk in the dark, in search of security and warmth. After finding a lit window, you look up only to see a ceiling instead of a joyful family eating dinner which you can experience vicariously from afar. You walk away defeated and trudge on to find the next window in hopes of seeing a glimpse of a life you could create for yourself. This is the essence of the images gathered, to provide a unique, voyeuristic experience depicting the longing for identity and the ability to have a say in one’s destiny.
Creating Two-way Mirrors has opened my eyes to the power of photography and the outcome of constant creation. Throughout this process, I have discovered within myself the intense instinct of creating and maintaining a home for my family. Outside of the influence of Todd Hido and the Becher’s “Anonymous Sculptures”, I hope the viewer can feel that these images were created by the exact process they were meant to represent, a cold walk in the dark.
To view more of Colton Wheatley’s work please visit their website.