I had no sooner dog-eared the page in my PDN magazine where Carla Jay Harris' work was featured than she submitted her work to Crusade for Art. Stars aligned! Carla's work is smart and presented in a way that is visually striking. Right away I wanted to know more, and that is always a good thing.


The Desert Cotton series BY carla Jay harris

In my work, I document and evaluate psychological environments. I began my career in 2008 as a documentary photographer. Over the past several years, my work has transformed into a conceptual, fine art practice that takes the form of sculptural, print, photographic and mixed-media works. Despite these seemingly disparate forms, the camera remains the connecting thread among all of my undertakings. Each piece begins with the camera and then comes to its final form through a process of meditation, translation, and manipulation.

As the child of a military man, I spent my childhood in flux – moving every 2-3 years for the first half of my life. This pattern of transience continued into adulthood due to familial obligations, financial restrictions and indoctrinated habit. My work is made in direct response to my nomadic existence. It allows me to connect personally with permanence while providing a platform for social critique. 

I am continually attracted to the way psychological space can transgress unwritten social laws through the manipulation of light, color, object and perspective. My most recent body of work, The Desert Cotton Series (Human Figures), explores themes of identity and perception. This society has constructed its own set of archetypes that dictate the ways in which individuals are marked and identified. In my work, I assert the falsity of these archetypes. These composite photographs depict my friends and family. In these works I am exploring how the constructs of race and gender have shaped and continue to constitute their individual sense of self.