Re:Turn offers an in depth look at the processes and experience of coming back to a place, person, or state of being. Developed over a two year period of extensive travel in the U.S., U.K., and China, the series interrogates the roles of ritual, the familiar and unknown Other in relation to self and place, the linearity of time, and the diaspora of love in the modern environment. Departing from the traditional three-part story arc, the imagery and juxtapositions allow the viewer’s perspective to traverse the highs and lows of the once populated settings of the photographs at a considered pace, digesting moments and savouring lingering questions which arise throughout the sequence. Utilising a metaphoric photographic approach and elements of ambiguity within the visual narrative, the viewer is encouraged to find themselves within the landscape of the journey, filling it with the echoes of personal experience.
Examining the vastness of transitional spaces alongside pensive moments of introspection and domestic settings, the myriad facets of life spent between destinations are called into question in relation to individual circumstance. The captures of seemingly disparate realities function in tandem to illuminate universal truths and fundamental inquiries about humanity’s cyclical relationship with time, space, self, and intimacy. The series offers a democratic voice in addressing the profoundly personal and universally shared negotiation of permanence and constant change in relation to the people, places, and things which equate to a sense of identity and place within the world.
Clay Cavender is an American photographer and visual artist whose work sets the scene for elaborate and meandering narratives that reflect on identity and ways of living. After completing the Visual Communication MA at the Royal College of Art in 2018, Clay has worked and exhibited between the U.S. and U.K., having work featured in publications such as Harper’s Bazaar China and receiving the Chris Garnham Prize for Photography for his graduate body of work, The Gifts Fear Gave.