THE CARRIE WALKER PROJECT

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This project began to germinate in 1998 when I formed my first email account, carriewalker@hotmail.com. Almost immediately, I started receiving emails from women who shared my name. These messages had been mistakenly sent to me – an underslash, initial or number presumably missing from the intended recipient’s address. It wasn’t until some years later that I began to search for the women who shared my name. There are scores of Carrie Walkers it turns out. There is a psychic, a nuclear physicist, an evangelist; there are secretaries and sales people. For this project I have been downloading photos of all the Carrie Walkers I find when conducting a Google image search for my name. I then crop and enlarge each face to approximately life size. By cropping all of the photos to this standard, I want to assert the portrait as a formal convention (as opposed to a snapshot) while alluding to missing persons posters and mug shots. I then make a pencil drawing based on the resulting image including any pixelation or digital artifacts that are generated through this process. Upon completion, each drawing is posted on my website so that a Google image search will result in not just the appearance of the original photo but my drawn copy as well. In this way, the work immediately enters the public sphere and can engage with an audience that is not necessarily seeking an art experience.

These drawings are all pencil on 9” x 12” paper and were drawn in 2010 through 2011. This project was made with the support of the BC Arts Council.