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AP ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: HADLEY MATTOCKS

Headshot of AP Artist Hadley Mattocks

I am the product of a family of artists, not only in the traditional sense of painting but of art history, graphic design, cars, sports, etc. Growing up, my family exposed me to creativity and beauty in all aspects of life, from museums and professional sporting events to high tea and graffiti parks. The result has been my continued interest in seeking out and creating beautiful, emotionally complex art. 

All throughout lower and middle school, I was dedicated to music and visual arts such as painting and drawing. It wasn’t until high school that I explored photography. Due to my ADHD, my brain is constantly jumping from idea to idea. Photography allows me the creative freedom to capture the world in a split second and share the inner workings of my brain with others. Throughout my time in the photography program, I have used my varied interests and view of life to enhance my projects and catalyze my experimentation. For example, during Photography III, I spent an entire semester focusing on the emotions of sports, specifically basketball and hockey. Having grown up an athlete, I have first-hand experience with the beauty of competition. Although others might look at basketball and see a bunch of sweaty, aggressive players, I see the pain, the joy, the struggle, and the love of the sport just seeping through their pores.

My AP concentration focuses on my perception of family units and the meaning of family. Usually, one defines family as blood-related or by marriage, but I believe love is what makes a family. To me, families feel like quilted blankets--a collection of memories and members all knit together by love, determination, and commitment. As a result, my pieces are all multimedia collages. I couldn’t find a way to truly express the messiness and explosive love of families while staying within the realms of a traditional AP photography project. I hope that my art inspires you to reevaluate your own families and what it means to love another, as this project has for me. 

Photography is a passion that has only begun, and as I go through the rest of my life, I look forward to growing my technique and experiencing the world through the lens of my camera.

Hadley is a unique artist who is self-driven and extremely clever when it comes to her ideas and experimental processes.  Hadley is a very curious student who is not afraid to take chances and try new techniques as well as creating her own.  She is one of the most independent working students I have had at ESD. Hadley has become an excellent photographer in the last four years and it has been an honor to be her teacher.
- George Fiala, AP Photography Teacher

Genetics: Hadley

My AP concentration focuses on my perception of family units and the meaning of family. Usually one defines family as blood-related or by marriage, but I believe love is what makes a family. To me, families feel like quilted blankets--a collection of memories and members all knit together by love, determination, and commitment. As a result, my pieces are all multimedia collages. I couldn’t find a way to truly express the messiness and explosive love of families while staying within the realms of a traditional AP Photography project.

This piece is the first of a four collage, a piece which depicts how my family and I interact and are related to one another. This collage is messy and my eyes are covered because my identity and role within my family is constantly changing and growing and is uncertain.

Genetics: Ellison

This is the second instillation of my family quadpic. Similar to my own collage, my sister’s future and identity are inconsistent and subject to change. Her’s however is more geometric in nature, as is my sister’s personality.

Genetics: Mike

My dad is artistic and haphazard in his core. He is also the happiest and sweetest man I have ever known. My dad also introduced me to one of my favorite artists, Murakami, whose signature flowers I purposefully included within this collage to demonstrate just how deeply my father’s love for art has impacted me.

Genetics: Ashley

This is the final installation of my family genetic study. My mom is an interesting mixture of artistic and systematic, which is a quality that I really wanted to emphasize.

Barron Family

This collage pictures my cousins, the Barrons. They truly define love and what is means to fight for family. I wanted this collage to be a mixture of childhood playfulness and adult seriousness.

Grandmother Lucy

My grandmother Lucy was affected by Alzheimer's and this collage is an homage to her.

Self-Love

This photo is one that I took as an afterthought while I was shooting my self-portrait for my junior year fall concentration. My sister is truly my greatest muse and most of my photos over the past four years have been of her.

Battle

Arguably my favorite project was my concentration during spring of my junior year titled "Odyssey Within," which I focused on the emotions of sports, specifically basketball and hockey. Having grown up an athlete, I have first-hand experience with the beauty of competition. Although others might look at basketball and see a bunch of sweaty, aggressive players, I see the pain, the joy, the struggle, and the love of the sport just seeping through their pores. This photo truly embodies the battle that competitive sports are.

Head in the Game

This piece is a continuation of my "Odyssey" project and depicts a team huddled together at half-time. This was one of their biggest games of the season and they were down by about 20 points. Although I’m not sure whether or not they won, after getting a talking-to from their coach, they went out and fought hard.

Eyes on the Prize

This piece was one of the only from this project that I did in color and that was purely because I love the way the yellow contrasts against all of the other cool tones within the photo. Hockey is a sport that I didn’t really understand until high school, but that I have grown to see the beauty of.

Drowning

This photo is from my sophomore year Alternative Processes class. As I mentioned earlier, my sister is my muse and I loved the way this photo developed with the cyanotype process.

Timeless

Sophomore year I also experimented with light exposure during development and this piece is the result of such an experimentation. This was a large format film shot that I exposed to light flashes while submerged under water.

Phantom

My last piece is another of my sister and it is one that instead of taking a regular developing approach to, I decided to drip the developer on the paper and let some parts develop for longer than others. This is was one of my favorite experiments from the darkroom.

LISTEN TO HADLEY'S PRESENTATION OF HER WORK HERE: