Judi Bommarito is a Detroit based photographer and an adjunct instructor at the College for Creative Studies, where she also received her BFA. Judi was the lead mentor for the Focus: HOPE photography program. Her poignant photo-documentary entitled “The SPACE Between The Cracks” addresses her mother’s journey with mental illness. This series was featured in a solo exhibition and was included in the group show entitled “Nature/Nurture” at the Salisbury University Art Galleries. This series has been the recipient of numerous awards, most notably, Grand Prize recognition by juror and American photographer, Mary Ellen Mark. The insight gained from this series became the catalyst for her girl empowerment series entitled “Power Up the Girl.” This conceptual documentary series employs a fine art aesthetic juxtaposed with titles in the imperative which suggest that young girls can and should be pro-active in the direction of their future and that empowerment can be fostered through the honoring of self, the embrace of inner freedom, and the responsibility of being accountable for the impact of one’s choices and actions. Judi’s series “Concealed Reality” includes her explorations of Detroit and documents her observations of beauty, symmetry, and color amidst the undertone of abandonment rather than a representation of the decay which is often times depicted in images of Detroit. Whether documenting a person or building, Judi’s work resonates a keen awareness of the passage of time.
Detroit- portrayed by some as a symbol of decay, to others one of an uprising. Upon my explorations of the city, I find myself drawn to the myriad of color, texture, and juxtaposition of shapes that occupy this urban landscape. The buildings worn, weathered and abandoned become the canvas for words and imagery of days long gone and also those of present day. The paint -old or fresh, boards or fences, conceal or reveal a cryptic message that suggests a feeling of human presence amidst the undertone of abandonment. This body of work entitled “Concealed Reality” intertwines the physicality of the external environment with one of our inner landscape derived from memory and experience. The buildings shift and adapt as time goes on, reminiscent of our own journey through life. Timeworn and transformed, these structures resonate of beauty and universal resilience, revealing a quiet sense of dignity and poise amidst the ruins. Their stories concealed amidst the layers, much like our own. These discoveries, to me, have become a personal metaphor at this stage in my own life. It is my intent to invite the viewer to create their own narrative as they reflect on these small glimpses of a landscape often overlooked.
To view more of Judi’s work please visit her website.