As a photographer, I believe in the magic of the every day, and how your living environment is influenced by you, and vice versa. As we progress through life, our environment changes with us, giving others a unique glimpse into our thoughts and progressions. What we gravitate towards can uncover our identities to ourselves as well.
I have had many homes throughout my 24 years of life, from my first home in Baltimore, MD to my college home in New York City, to my 6 month home in Rome, Italy. All of these homes have given me experiences that shape who I am today. My college “home” was pinnacle in developing my personality in that it was my first home as an emerging young adult. I still remember the Christmas lights I hung all year long, the pictures of my hometown friends and family taped on my walls, and that same “All You Need is Love” poster I kept hanging up year after year. Those walls and that small corner was my home, my small, definitely not new, bed was my island and my escape. It was my space, and as a 17 year old young adult, it was my home.
In 2014, I was a junior in college as well as graduating from International Center of Photography. For my final project, I decided to photograph college students in their rooms. My peers and those close around me have always intrigued me the most, watching how we interact with each other and our environment, that every day magic. Looking back at these images, 3 years later, I see the relationships that have changed, the people that have moved forward in their lives, but I can’t help but feel how I did when I was in those rooms. The feeling of apprehension for the future but curiosity of what laid ahead. This project has been shown at the School at the International Center of Photography in NY, NY and the Dorsky Gallery in Long Island City, NY. The following is an excerpt from this project:
“Even though lines have been blurred over the years as to when a person can be considered an adult, there are still small rites of passage that make people feel like they are entering a new stage in their life. Early adult transition, or emerging young adult, is the first stage of adulthood. This is the time when a person leaves adolescence and makes their initial choices for adult life. It is usually the time when a young person first experiences independence, by living on his or her own or attending some sort of college.”
I travelled around America, photographing and interviewing young adult people in college, ages 17-22, asking them questions about what they want out of life. Unsurprisingly enough, most college students were unsure of their future but had aspirations from getting their masters degrees, to being doctors, to just enjoying their 20’s. The concept of emerging young adulthood is seen as a new conception of development because more men and women are using this time to focus on going to a college or university and beginning their careers.
“I have found that what students put on their walls, what they choose to surround themselves with, and what they want out of life are their ways of trying to figure out their identity. These young people have a “feeling of in between” and are constantly trying to claim their personal identity before they begin to have their own responsibilities.”
Home is not always where you were born or the place you lived longest, but where you find your identity. It is where you feel most yourself, even for a moment, even in a small corner of a room.
You can view the whole project at http://www.rachelvking.com/innerperspective.
Rachel King, co-creator of Mother Muse Co is an artist, creator, photographer, and owner of EaarthBones. Her work involves intersectionality between social issues, psychology and the ideas of youth culture, the familial, and every day magic. Follow her photography journey on Instagram: @rachelvkingphotography and rachelvking.com.