Removed from the day-to-day experience of childhood and photographed in front of a stark, black background, these children express a distilled honesty and tender vulnerability. By reducing these variables, Kurlat creates an organic visual dialogue between sitter and camera photographing her subjects in a quiet setting devoid of distraction; a space that is conducive to the child being completely engaged in the process of making the photograph.
The ritual of making a wet collodion photograph is in itself an important aspect to this body of work. Collodion is poured onto a plate which becomes sensitized using a bath of silver nitrate. The image is then developed on the spot to create a physical object and a likeness of the child, an ephemeral event only existing in that one moment.
The final result is a collaborative effort. Kurlat creates an open environment for the child to direct essential aspects of the photographs with their expression, gesture and gaze. Some children embrace this unfamiliar process of being photographed while others are defiant of the camera. With each image, we further see how important it is to acknowledge both the innocence and complexities of childhood.