A photograph that made me think- `Untitled` by Jerry Uelsmann

I first discovered this photograph by Jerry Uelsmann in my introduction to photography. It made me question the subject matter in depth and the ideas he is trying to communicate to the viewer. The complexity of the layering challenges the viewer’s comprehension on the themes and the emotions that are being communicated, and therefore allows an ambiguous interpretation. This is supported by, the photo’s unnamed title, as it gives no further indication of the artist’s thoughts. The central positioning of the house, allows ideas of desolation and isolation to be implicated within the photo. This is evident through the stark and jagged lines shown in the tree roots and the cracked windows, which can also convey tension. Furthermore, the dark blacks and the bold white tones creates a heavy contrast and emphasises a sombre atmosphere. It could be said that, given the Surrealist context, the subject matter could symbolise themes of anxiety and the isolation felt through an inner mental struggle. Which I feel is evident from the fixed and grounding of the tree roots. However, the mystery of comprehending what the subject matter is trying to communicate enabled me to think about the complexity of human emotion and subconscious thoughts.

Jessica Buckley

L1 Photography, University of the West of England


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