Blurry | Colleen MacDonald

When I look think back to my travels, I remember faces very distinctly, but the rest, subject to hindsights and mood, is always blurry, not in a bad way, but in a way that I will remember:

Baku, Azerbaijan.

My last days in Baku: A haze of walking through Fountain Square, wondering if Iʼd miss the city, or just the context of the memories, and then I just didnʼt care, cheered a few more desperate Jagger shots with my friends, since we knew the life, style, times were live today gone tomorrow, catch the snapshot of happiness and carry on-then Iʼd run through the streets thinking I was amazing with my camera.

Princes Island, Istanbul Turkey

The smell whilst we were wandering through the arts district of Istanbul, that one day, when the sheer happiness we had was breathtaking and made us drunk,(the cliche!), the lights spun in the junk shop, so did my camera.

Curonian Spit, Lithuania

Months later, I wandered islands and places alone, finding representations of God (was I searching for Him too?) mixed with dirty sea gulls and stumbling bands of Brits on party weekends. I was too disgusted to photograph the Brits and too lonely not be taken in by old churches and quiet places with Autumn leaves.

St.Petersburg, Russia

The room was always stuffy, the women wore too much perfume, hairspray,makeup and desperation, the plastic tree was just as bad, but more obviously plastic. It made me laugh in a silly way: the correlation I made in my head between the fake trees and the fake women – both require frequent dusting and usually smell worse the more scent that is sprayed on.

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

Nothing made sense two months later, in particular: sweat pants, advertising, customer service, smiles and how I could read everything easily and immediately understand the cultural reference. It was too damm easy in the Midwest.

The hidden, derelict and marginalized attract her; with a desire for adrenaline rushes and a love of heights, Colleen has photographed everything from abandoned highrises in Detroit to Particle Colliders in Russia. With an eye for portraits, a belief that everyone has a story, and a love of drains, she has been wandering through foreign countries since 2007. Accused of being a spy, a prostitute and a missionary; having repelled down elevator shafts, been caught up in political protests and nearly arrested, she has developed a fearless approch to photography seeking out the moments both violent and peaceful that give life meaning.


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