6: Jessica Wynne '90

September 11 to October 16, 2015

Morning Meeting presentation September 17, 2015.

Jessica Wynne has a fine arts background, receiving an MFA from Yale University School of Art in 1999 and a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1994. She has exhibited her work around the world and is in numerous collections including the SF MOMA. Editorial and advertising clients include The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Wired, W, Blackbook, Details, Fortune, Newsweek and Kodak. Wynne currently resides in NYC and works as a professor in the Photography Department at The Fashion Institute of Technology.


Six years ago I started photographing my daughter when she was first born—a natural parental impulse to capture these intimate and fleeting early years. Two years ago, I realized that these pictures, along with ones I was taking of my mother, formed the basis of a new project. In documenting family, I seek to examine the cyclical nature of life by looking at the beginning and later stages, and to show in these images the universality of such a natural phenomenon.

As an observer and documentarian, I am witnessing what it looks like for a child to be set free in nature. There is a wildness, or abandon, that the children in these pictures inhabit—having spent the rest of the year amid the organized chaos of a city, here they are liberated. But liberated to what? A natural world that is unknown and unpredictable. It is at once lush and mysterious, scary and dangerous. I want to get at the vulnerability intrinsic to childhood, especially in the face of nature’s grandeur. I’m interested in that contrast of innocence bumping into both the peril that the outside world presents and into the lessons that life itself imposes on a child as she matures.

In addition, most of these photographs are taken on Cape Cod, where I too spent summers as a child. In this respect my daughter’s childhood experiences are connected with my own and this project simultaneously invokes memories of my own childhood and a chronicle of my daughter’s experience.

—Jessica Wynne