Studies of space have recently shifted to the role of the photograph, and the conceptions of reality and sensations of the immediate past it creates. The photograph is both an object for constructing and a material/medium for transformation in the work of Leslie Hewitt. Her engagement with time and its representations is motivated by the desire to explore the fullness of the experience of observation by limiting and at times ignoring visual convention.
Hewitt constructs propositions for considering the relationships among images, text, subject, scale, colour, or texture, all creating an expanded visual field. In her Still Life photographs, for instance, each composition is a continuum of a deconstructed yet reassembled contemporary still life, consisting of found photographs, books, a wood board, a sliced lemon (a nod to 17th-century still life painting), and a copy of James Baldwin’s seminal 1963 book The Fire Next Time. Art historian Courtney J. Martin notes that Hewitt’s images “take on the task of describing rather than photographing, taking, recording, noting, capturing, or any of the actions normally ascribed to the two-dimensional photographic process … what we read into these images is determined by our own connotations led by Hewitt’s vivid photo-real descriptions.”