We’re delighted to introduce you to Harry Scales, one of the two scholarship students from the New England Portfolio Reviews who have been given a Shutter Hub award of mentorship and membership in 2020.
Harry is young, fresh faced – a recent graduate coming from full-time study, but he’s creating imagery that you’d expect from someone with decades of experience, published by the likes of the Wall Street Journal and documenting the world around him through absolute necessity. We’ll leave any further explanation to Harry’s images, and his beautiful words. If there’s a ‘one to watch’, then here he is.
All of these images were taken during Al Sharpton’s March on Washington 27 – 29 August 2020.
My work is the striving of a poet with a healthy obsession for people’s lives, the way their worlds persist around and through one another, the constant struggles between and within us, amid the current of time. As a Black man in America, my angle is specific and yet universal. Ideas of conflict, progress, community, love, joy, pain, suffering, youth and age, class, responsibility, freedom, beauty are discussed through the lives and community around me.
Winning this award as a scholarship reviewee in this year’s New England Portfolio Reviews comes during an overwhelming time in my life, overwhelming time in the lives of many. As I prepared for the end of my enrollment at the New England School of Photography, I had visions of a quiet summer. One where I’d slowly begin diving deeper into the professional photography world, hatching out plans for project ideas and scouring for photographers in need of assistants. But this was not how my summer went. The school came crashing to an early end due to an international pandemic.
I was quickly thrust to the front lines of a national crisis around police brutality and the sustained systemic oppression of Black and Brown people in my home. I suddenly found myself charged with the same responsibility and obligation as the photographers I had just learned so much about, photographers I had studied and come to revere. I did not know what would come of it and having just begun my life as a committed artist; I did not expect much. My only aim was to make my camera of service and push myself in my craft to tell this story with the most articulate vision available to me at the time. And while I received my position in this year’s reviews at the reception of my graduating portfolio, I do not doubt that the beginnings of this work, which I was able to include in my critique, contributed significantly to Shutter Hub choosing me for this award. I am profoundly grateful and, if I’m honest, somewhat saddened.
The pain and sacrifice behind the significant work we see often goes unappreciated, that of the subject and that of the artist. I had dreams of making important photographs of grand moments and sharing those moments with millions. I am many miles from this land of dreams. With every accomplishment, award, I am struck with the bittersweet sense of knowing I am that much closer to this dreamland and, therefore, closer to the pain and suffering. My refuge in this is the beauty and humanity mined by my lens.
From this award, I hope to gain entrance to a community of artists that support and inspire one another. I hope to bring my efforts as an artist to larger and larger tables for consideration. I hope to continue using my voice to stake claim for Boston’s Black & Brown citizens in the face of the city’s national perception as merely a white-Irish town. And I hope to grow. Many will never have the benefit of a membership, such as this. If I do not use this space to grow, I have wasted a beautiful opportunity.
Not a Shutter Hub member yet? Join here for opportunities to promote your work online and in exhibitions, access selected opportunities, events, seminars and workshops, meet up and share photographic experiences, and become part of our growing community…