Thriving in Place: Jan Watten - TP
18 x18", digital print
Pandemic Photo Project
Intrigued by how the pandemic has shaped our world – I am exploring taking portraits of people in masks and behind windows.
These images are a response to how we have had to change the way we communicate and interact with friends and loved ones. The portrait behind glass represents protection from the virus, but it is also a barrier – an obstacle to being able to connect fully with friends and family.
But there is also optimism and hope for connecting with the world, nature and our surroundings as I venture out to make these photographs. The people I photographed were excited to have the opportunity to do this, giving them a moment of familiarity and connection – something we are all yearning for.
Jan Watten has a passion for expressing the essence and core of her subject's being. This vision of purity and simplicity was nurtured during her youth – and inspired by the experience of growing up in Asia and support from her mother, who was an artist an advocate of the arts.
Watten’s work revolves around the idea of identity – focusing on capturing an aspect or an isolated moment of her subjects – whether the subject matter is human or vegetation.
Watten was born in Oakland, California and has a BFA in Photography from California College of Arts and Crafts. She has been making photographs for more than 25 years in her Oakland studio in the Jingletown Arts District. She has shown domestically and internationally, and was profiled in Black and White Magazine in 2010.