Two images side-by-side on a white background: one of birds flying in the sky and one of the back of a person's neck.

Jessica Eve Rattner

Graduate Fellowships, 2020 - 2021
UC Davis

A portrait of a person against a light background.

Artist Statement

My interest in mindfulness, mental health, and society’s narrow definitions of beauty, belonging, and what it means to be “crazy” or “sane” all inform my photography. Although I first picked up a camera with an interest in documenting my own children, I quickly learned that with a camera I had access to the kind of diversity and intimacy I’d encountered in my work as a clinical social worker. But as a photographer, the code of conduct and rules of engagement were different: less constrained, more fluid and transparent. For me, this was a more comfortable fit. I now recognize my documentary practice as a creative outgrowth of my clinical training. Recently I’ve expanded my practice to include work exploring my own biography. These days, through images that are impressionistic rather than literal, poetic rather than didactic, I’m attempting to tell a subjective story of the events and emotions that have shaped my own history.

While at Headlands

I am looking forward to using my Headlands studio space and time to re-examine, print, and edit several long-term portrait projects that have been gestating for years, and which I am now ready to turn into a book, or series of books. At the same time, I plan to work on the autobiographical project that has been my focus for the past several years. I am both curious and excited about how the Headlands landscape, environment, and community will shape this still evolving series of photographs that are all, in the broadest sense, about Home. 

Banner image: Jessica Eve Rattner, The end is where we start from No. 3, 2020; photography, archival inkjet prints; 12″ x 18″; © Jessica Eve Rattner