The Bridge Cafe is showcasing a collection of 30 to 40 candid photos by senior Jaime Wills entitled “Indonesia.”
Wills is a graphic art major with a concentration in photography. The inspiration for her collection came from her month long trip to Southeast Asia last January, where she lived with a host family.
Wills originally declared a major in psychology, but after her trip to Greece with the Honors Program at Taylor, she realized that what she was the most passionate about was taking photos and encapsulating God’s innate beauty through her camera lens.
Every month, there is a featured gallery artist at The Bridge Cafe, and Wills’ “Indonesia” collection is this month’s feature.
In choosing to showcase her “Indonesia” collection at the Bridge Cafe, Wills stressed the multiple perspectives that different people may have when viewing the photos.
“I know it's different for the viewer versus for me, because when I look at them I'm mentally transported back to what that moment felt like,” Wills said. “I hope this collection is a little window into the places and people showcased in these photos.”
Although Wills took hundreds and hundreds of photos while in Indonesia, her favorite photo was a simple image of two young children.
“I just happened to pick up my camera and snap this picture where my host sister is looking right at me,” Wills said. “I think the expression in her eyes directly caught at that moment holds a lot of meaning of us being in the same space and looking and seeing each other and just being so curious because we knew that we came from such different places.”
What makes Wills’s collection so genuine and intentional is that the photos were not taken for the sheer purpose of being displayed for the public to appreciate. However, Wills ultimately decided to showcase her collection taken in a culture in which she was a visitor because of the ubiquitous concepts portrayed through simplistic images.
Wills builds upon the different perspectives that encompass the photos within her collection by stating that the essence of what is being captured can never fully be appreciated through the lens of a camera. Wills explained that the beauty of these photos reach observers through what they see in their own right.
“I know that just looking at thirty five photos isn't ever going to give you a full picture and it can never even give me a full picture just being there for a month,” Wills said. “So, I hope that people look at all the fragmented pieces of that place and hopefully the things that stick out to them are because they're more universal things like the expression of a kid, or the look on a mother's face.”
More than anything else, Wills stressed the importance of connecting with her photos and allowing observers to find a connection themselves through their own personal motives, which is evident in her “Indonesia” collection.
“It's my hope that even if you can’t directly connect with the photos I take, you can find ways that you can connect with a place that you would otherwise think is so different,” Wills said.