Lindley Warren is a photographer currently residing in Iowa City, IA where she recently earned a BFA in Photography from the University of Iowa. She is the founder and editor of various publications including The Ones We Love and The Photographic Dictionary. Additionally, she has curated international exhibitions and self-published books and magazines. She is a contributing editor of Rubber Factory Posters and in early 2018 released The Reservoir, a collective editorial project with Romke Hoogwaerts (Mossless) and Jack Harries (The Heavy Collective). Most recently, she was named a winner of PDN’s Photo Annual 2018 and awarded a 2018 SPE Student Award for Innovations in Imaging.
PROJECT SPOTLIGHT: The Meadows
When and where did The Meadows begin?
I began "The Meadows" in the summer of 2015. I went to the trailer my mom and aunt had just moved into to stay with a childhood friend who offered them a place to live after they both had been homeless for some time. My nephew John who was then five spends a lot of time with my mom and so he would often be where she was staying. The first time I visited them in The Meadows all of these things started clicking and I knew that I had to start photographing them. To photograph is to love, or at least that’s my belief. And so it seemed like a natural thing to do after years of distance. But also, it really felt to me like an opportunity to reevaluate my own childhood through using my nephew as a sort of surrogate for my brother and myself.
Where do you see this project going?
I plan to continue shooting this work for at least 10 years. It still feels really fresh and I’m still figuring out a lot of things about it. I want to keep shooting until it feels completely exhausted. But really, I can’t imagine a time when I’m not photographing my family. It’s become a deeply important thing to me. I’d like to someday edit the photos into a book. I have a lot of images that I currently don’t show but that I envision existing alongside the others in print.
What helps you sustain your current creative practice?
What’s really special about this project is that it’s continually evolving. Things are always unfolding. I’ve spent years on this project and just last week I had an epiphany about a major thing that is so central to what I’m doing. Once it dawned on me it was so obvious, but I had never really thought about it before. So, really, I think it’s the fact that there is so much about what I’m doing that I don’t quite yet understand that keeps me interested.
What’s next for you?
I’m getting married in July and we’ll be doing a road trip for our honeymoon. I’ll be shooting a new project during that time. Then, in August we are moving to New York. I’ll still be shooting The Meadows in the summers, but I have plans for a new series after I move. I also have another project in the works called Big Ears, an image of which was just named "Best in Show" by Rachel Jump for your FAMILIAR/FAMILIAL exhibition. I’m also working on a couple of interviews for publication and an exhibition. It’s been a very exciting year for me focusing on my personal work, as I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few years on editorial and curatorial pursuits such as with The Ones We Love and The Reservoir. Lastly, Jack Harries, Romke Hoogwaerts, and I are currently working on Issue Three of The Reservoir and we’re planning a panel event for later in the year in New York.