Lockers is a collection of photographs, video-works, and installation intended to raise conversations about the school experience between people of all backgrounds and age-ranges. Through video, installation, and photographs artist Julia Bradshaw invites viewers to reflect upon their high school experiences and those of children in high school today.
Bradshaw grew up in the United Kingdom and lockers are not a feature of UK schools. She was drawn to photographing this theme by the unexpected sight of a lengthy row of bright yellow, cheerful lockers at a High School in Oregon. Since then, she uses the photograph of the yellow lockers to trigger a range of conversations about high-school social experiences such as growing up in the post-Columbine era, locker decorations, school bullying, trust, locked spaces, school funding, and transnational educational differences.
The artwork in the exhibition Lockers is part of a longer ongoing project titled Municipal where Bradshaw photographs institutionalized spaces. In this project, she seeks out spaces with evidence of repeated care such as high-polish, extensive wear, and repeated paint applications. Specifically, she photographs the well-used functional spaces that may receive an upgrade in the next decade or so.