Today we’d like to introduce you to Bridget Batch.
Bridget, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
My mother loved to paint and photograph, and she definitely nurtured creativity in me. But raised as I was in the Midwest, art seemed very far away as something one would do. I discovered the photography book section in my library when I was 14 and decided I would travel the world documenting life, and seeking world peace, à la The Family of Man. An internship at Magnum Photos in New York City, while I was in college, convinced me that a) I personally could not contribute more to the war journalism genre than many talented people were already doing, and b) I needed to join a creative community in a major city and work conceptually. I moved to New York, and eventually here to earn my MFA CalArts. Now I teach in addition to my practice!
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I work in photography, video, installation and touch on performance. I have an installation called Campfire Stories that is interactive with the audience, calling upon the viewers to tell stories to each other, or sometimes, to me, which I have manifested on multiple occasions in different locations. Our brains are wired to learn via stories and so this is an endlessly evolving piece designed to bring people together to share, but also to process and release.
Many other works of mine involve performances and rituals, often specifically for a camera exposure in order to make a photograph that brings to life the traces and spirits of different energies on the earth, or the specific histories behind a location. I hope that when people see my work they are inspired by these otherwise invisible narratives, and to contemplate or meditate on their place in the world or to feel empowered as an actor in the community of humanity and denizen of Earth. To this end, environmental issues including climate change have been major topics for me and probably will be for some time.
Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them?
I actually think this is a great time to be involved in the arts – in fact, to me, contemporary art feels like a small, but potent and influential revolutionary force for positive change all around the world. Particularly important are the common themes critiquing power and systems, which I think ultimately is part of an ongoing process of breaking down hierarchy and bringing empowerment to all individuals.
This political moment is a terrifying one, but I believe that it’s also a last gasp of true reactionary, old school thinking. There are some elements of progress from which humans truly cannot turn back. However, I think that other crises on the planet, particularly ecological, affect everyone, and artists, being sensitive by definition are sometimes on the frontlines of anxiety about these disasters.
Oh, and, it’s difficult in America for art and creativity outside the realm of business and tech to truly be valued – particularly monetarily. This is a perennial problem and I would like to see a greater cultural embrace of the incredible value of conceptual and aesthetic thinking.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
Well, right now you’d need to go to New York City! Work from my series, Rituals to Reveal Hidden Boundaries is on display at Spectral Lines http://spectrallines.org/ as part of the two person exhibition Critical Opalescence, with Kevin Cooley, until June 28th. I will be performing there as well in July.
I do have Instagram: @bridgetbatch or check out my website www.bridgetbatch.com.
- Website: bridgetbatch.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @bridgetbatch
- Other: linkedin.com/in/bridget-batch