Brittney Cathey-Adams

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Brittney Cathey-Adams is a photographer located in Santa Cruz, CA. She received her MFA in Photography from San Jose State University in 2014. Her work primarily utilizes the body for discovery of self. Cathey-Adams has a wide skill set ranging from traditional darkroom photography to digital media and alternative processes. Working in black-and-white images her work centers itself in the idea of the radiance; that light not only illuminates but that darkness defines. She is interested in ideas of self-portraiture and broadening the definitions of beauty and self-perception. She has been teaching photography and creating program curricula in the Bay Area for five years. Most recently, she taught beginning digital photography and intermediate black-and-white photography at San Jose State University. With a strong passion for photography, Cathey-Adams dedicates herself not only to image making but teaching as well.

Artist Statement

Rather than a location on a map, my work utilizes a space metaphoric to journey. In efforts to reconnect the body and spirit, the land acts as a guide, defining and obscuring the nature of self. Utilizing my full figured body, I create a seamless relationship to the land and earthen elements that I choose as my backdrop. Like a beacon of light, the form pulls to it a sensation of triumph and strength. The darkness sets the scene from which the body is born, of which it knows on a deep and intimate level. Speaking with a quiet intensity, the images guide the connection of self-discovery and confirmation. This validation speaks to the worth that our experiences have created in us. By using aesthetics rooted in traditional photography, there is an insertion into history of a body type often left out or oversimplified. In this way, I disrupt not only the male gaze by photographing the self but also confront body norms and social standards of beauty.

Exhibited Work

Foundation

2014
Pigment print
20”x24”

Silver

2014
Pigment print
20”x24”

Vein

2014
Pigment print
20”x24”

Totem

2014
Pigment print
20”x24”

Found

2014
Pigment print
20”x24”

Extend

2014
Pigment print
20”x24”

About this Article

This article was originally created as part of SOMArts Cultural Center's Making a Scene: 50 Years of Alternative Bay Area Spaces. To learn how to add or edit content please visit the Bay Area Society for Art & Activism's online History Collection Lab.

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