It can be difficult to slow things down on an avenue as bustling as Kensington Ave. However Jeffrey Stockbridge does just that in his series Kensington Blue, and his piece Jamie, which is up for auction at the InLiquid 2019 Benefit Saturday, February 2nd. Jamie, and the rest of the series from Stockbridge, focus on slowing down the “perpetual hustle” of the avenue, which is wrought with drugs and prostitution, and revealing the intimate, personal side of the grime.
In his journal, Stockbridge allows residents to share their stories, their daily routines, how they survive. In one instance, two brothers, separated by drugs and a whole host of misfortune, communicate to each other through Stockbridge’s journal. Unable to connect in person, one brother writes, “come see me in my dreams, I’ll be waiting.”
It is this human side of the avenue that Stockbridge aims to relay in his portrait work in Kensington Blues. The people that populate the avenue, working, selling, and buying there, are from vastly diverse backgrounds and vary in ages, some as young as 20. While they seem a world away from many of our lives, Stockbridge shows us how fundamentally alike we all are. Despite any preconceived perceptions some might have about the lives of those who live on the Avenue, there is something that runs through all of us, a common thread, a shared experience, that can help remove the slant of our perspectives.
While one of the residents says, “this is the place the life forgot,” when writing about Kensington Ave, Stockbridge tries to change that. The stories of the people do not have to be forgotten, but should instead be shared. His photo Jamie is a testament to that. This portrait is intimate and touching. The expression on Jamie’s face is tough but tired, and the small heart tattooed on her hand hints at a more tender side of the woman who challenges us with her “Seen-it-all” eyes.
Jeffrey Stockbridge lives and works in Philadelphia. After graduating from Drexel with a BS in Photography, Stockbridge has been featured in a number of publications including the NY Times Magazine and Time Magazine among many others. His work has shown at The National Portrait Gallery London, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts, The Houston Center for Photography and The Wapping Project Bankside. Stockbridge is a recipient of a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Grant, an Independence Foundation Fellowship and a CFEVA Fellowship. You can read more about Stockbridge and his work at his website https://www.jeffreystockbridge.com.
Jamie will be available for auction at the InLiquid 2019 Benefit, February 1 + 2. Tickets can be purchased at https://inliquid.org/benefit/. Perhaps Jamie could be an addition to your collection, but until then we’ll have to make due with the sentiment, “come see me in my dreams, I’ll be waiting.”