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lorena lohr - untitled (new mexico)
From Ocean SandsPhotography by Lorena Lohr

A hitchhiker’s guide to the mid west

Blue jeans and cattle ranches combine in a celebration of the beauty and banality of the US

Photographer Lorena Lohr's work could be mistaken for a hitchhiker's guide to the mid west. A car door here, an abandoned cocktail glass there, her lens has captured beauty in the unexpected. Showing at Liverpool’s photography festival LOOK/15, her exhibition Ocean Sands was shot while travelling by Greyhound coach around the Deep South.

Her beautiful compositions of banal details – motel bathrooms and sun-bleached deserts – are taken with the dream-like haze of saccharine nostalgia, though sees them as travel log. "As I see it, they are records of places I have been through," she explains. "I record as much of this experience as I can but these selected photos are the cream on top, the point where the time travelling pulls something together."

For this exhibition, she has expanded her view to include the less sun-bleached shores of Britain. “I’m living in England right now which is a wholly different experience. Its slower, oftentimes. It doesn’t look very good to me in a simple and direct kind of way as do the American towns I have spent time in.” 

She first began photography as a teen looking for the shock factor. In the end, her lens turned from the people in the room to the objects behind them, her lens seeking sensations over the sensational. “I look at more details. Before I would not see details in the photos I’d selected until much later. But I have the same way of making photos as in America, not following any set projects but looking around different parts of the city that I'm in. I see all the photos as fitting into the same series.”

Lorena Lohr's Ocean Sands will be shown at The Gallery, Liverpool from 15 May – 31 May as part of LOOK/15- Liverpool International Photography Festival-