Jena Ardell's Dreamy Summers 'Past'
Hazy, washed out photographs that appear like a faded memory make me nostalgic for my childhood, even if the subject matter doesn't quite fit my own experience. Like this candy-coloured attraction-filled pier below that has me asking if it even ever existed; it looks right out of a child's fantasy. And I mean the good, pure kind of eras past that is devoid of corporate sponsorship and the scourge of animated characters that have their own breakfast cereals and clothing lines. Hard to believe then that these were all taken today, though I'm happy and willing to buy that fact.
These photos are polaroids from the Summer Love series from photographer Jena Ardell whose work I was introduced to thanks to a contest happening at Constant Cravings. The prize is a print of Homage and the contest closes July 5.
The pool scene above reminds me of David Hockney's A Bigger Splash which is one of my most favourite paintings in the whole world. A nicely framed poster of it sits on my wall and never fails to replicate that dreamy feeling for me. Diver does it for me as well and frankly so does Ardell's entire Summer Love series.
Ardell is from California and that neatly fits the 'perfect summer' depicted here - who wouldn't have guessed these are scenes from the 'Sunshine State'? After all, it's an idyllic and romantic notion that we who are not from California all seem to share. But it so happens that 90% of Ardell's beach shots were shot on the east coast which she reveals in an interview with Feaverish Photography.com. She offers an explanation of this and I love the last line - it sums up perfectly the innocence and simplicity of our own childhood summers:
I spent most of my summer days playing outside in the sun in our small southern Ontario town with the neighbourhood kids (I remember one day when I was about seven years old and it was so hot I came in and changed four times trying to find something cooler so I wouldn't have to come inside) and if there was a promise of Dairy Queen in the evening that just made my day. The one we had at the time was hardly more than a shack and there was always a line working its way out both sides of that metal framed ice cream stand. I always got a raspberry Mr. Misty and sometimes an ice cream sandwich. Writing this I can actually smell the mix of ice cream and flavoured syrup in the air.
Thanks for the memories, Jena.