Manipulation of the landscape has carried the connotations of power and wealth for centuries and contemporary suburbia doesn’t escape from this legacy. Paige Salmon’s practice centers around the way contemporary society’s impulse to create facade through the ornamentation and organization of the landscape. Using both digital and analog photography processes, she produces non-narrative photographs that reveal the superficiality in the manipulated landscape. Functioning in the gap between reality and representation, the photographic image serves not only as a report on the suburban landscape, but an assessment of it. Through the depiction of hyper-controlled environments, her work reevaluates the way humans interact with surroundings and community. By re-contextualizing or de-contextualizing constructed landscapes through the photographic process, viewers interact with the scenes in a manner that allows them to investigate the human impulse to create facade through the ornamentation and organization of the landscape. In her recent work titled Apostles of Beauty, Salmon explores the American suburban neighborhood as a cultural signifier. Inspired by the history of gardening and landscape architecture, these images investigate superficiality and uniformity within the context of suburban America, as well as the embrace of a standardized aesthetic as a signal of participation within a community.
Paige Salmon was born in Massachusetts in 1993. Having lived in New England for most of her life, its geography plays an important role in her work. Salmon uses photography to explore the ways in which the we interact with the land around us and manipulate it to suit our needs. Her most recent work, Apostles of Beauty, explores suburban America as a cultural signifier and is currently being shown in the Institute of Contemporary Art in Portland Maine. In the past, she has shown at venues that include Sprinkler Factory in Worcester, Massachusetts, Black Box Gallery in Portland Oregon, Studio Gallery in Washington, D.C, and the RFK Center in Florence, Italy. Salmon was the recipient of the Roderick Dew Travel Grant from the Maine College of Art and served as a panelist for the 2019 New England Graduate Media Symposium. She holds a B.A. from American University and is currently an M.F.A. candidate at the Maine College of Art.