Leeta Harding: “It’s So Me”
This Friday, Oct. 24, the Gallery at S.A.L.T. Studio debuts “It’s So Me,” an exhibition by photographer Leeta Harding. Featuring a mixture of portraiture and video installation, Harding’s work delves into female self-exploration and identity.
Kelly Starbuck, owner and curator at S.A.L.T. Studio says she’s known Harding since their days living and working in New York City. For the better part of a decade, the creative friends have supported and encouraged each other’s career. “We connected over photography and I instantly loved her work,” Starbuck recalls. “I had been shooting for a while but did not have a tight portfolio or website. I asked Leeta to help and we met one day for Chinese food in Union Square; she was extremely supportive and mentored me through the editing process.”
“I still have the fortune from the cookie from that restaurant taped to my portable hard drive. It reads, ‘You are about to embark on a most delightful journey’ and in my handwriting below ‘2.28.08 with Leeta.’ It has been a remarkable journey of photography and friendship!”
Harding’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the United States and Europe; a cover photographer and interviewer for Index Magazine from 1997-2006, she’s also contributed to the likes of Harper’s Bazaar, Vice Magazine, and The New York Times. Now living in rural North Carolina, down the road in Murfreesboro, Harding says she’s looking forward to sharing her portrait studies of young women in the south.
“We all have stories to tell,” Harding says. “I want people to identify with my photographs in a way that’s personal. The women I photograph let me into their lives, so I’m letting the viewer into the stories we create.”
As a film photographer, Harding explains her endearment to the “old school” color darkroom tradition. “It’s important to me to keep it real and not use all the seductive retouching tools that make photos look perfect. I’m not against it, but my eye has been trained to see actual photographs, not computer monitors.”
Shot in various locations throughout North Carolina and Virginia, “It’s So Me” captures not only a look or sense of time, place, age and feminism, but conveys various stories of style, culture and personality. “Leeta’s style of shooting for her show mirrors her subjects: fun, fresh, colorful and young,” Starbuck observes. “What I find interesting is that there is a story behind each of these young women that are in the show––not just photo portraits, but portraits in a deeper sense about who they are and who they are becoming.”
“What is also interesting is the broad range of young women Leeta has photographed,” Starbuck continues. “You can see the differences in their personal style of clothing and the way they express themselves through hair and make-up that I believe each girl would say, ‘It’s So Me!’”
For more on Leeta and her work, visit leetaharding.com
805 N 4th Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
910 367 5720
Photographer, Owner, Curator: Kelly Starbuck
Monday – Friday 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Saturday & Sunday by appointment
SALT Studio is a working photography studio and business. Please call ahead (910.367.5720) to confirm the gallery is open and that we are not on location for a photo shoot. Appointments welcome!