The Familiar exhibition is composed of work drawn from two ongoing projects by Haymes—a series of images taken of his immediate family, and another of his extended family, a group of young skateboarders he befriended while on his cross-country journey through North America. In both bodies of work, Haymes reveals the complex and personal facets of “family life”, from the domestic home to that of a transnational tribe of teenagers he grew close to during their transition into adulthood. The images, mixed together, illustrate Haymes’ deft capture of emotions within relationships that connect a photographer as father figure to his subjects.
Within the last few years, portrait photography’s subject matter has bent on itself and softened around its edges. The harsh imagery of drugs, glamour, futuristic architecture, abstractions and far away places have let the air out of its tires for those things closer to us. Images of family members, friends, and nature, bathed in low natural sunlight have infiltrated our exhausted hearts and minds. Without too much explanation, a glimpse of real omnivorous life is extracted. This series of work within Haymes Familiar exhibition is nostalgic with a twinge of pain, suggestible but independent and doesn’t want to be balanced.