by Alice Schoolcraft

Publication date: June 2019
ISBN: 978-0-9955238-3-8
Price: £35
Binding: Hard cover
Extent: 88pp + 4 throwouts
Trim size: 270mm x 235mm
Photographs:55 colour
Text: English


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A loving family resides in the middle of Washington state in North West corner of America. Surrounded by rolling hills and the beauty of nature, how else would one wish to spend quality family time together other than firing assault rifles and launching home made rockets in to the sky?

When Swedish born Alice Schoolcraft discovered a photograph of her father’s American cousin, she was intrigued to see that half way around the world lives a family whose life is completely opposite to her own, yet ineluctably bound to her through blood. Schoolcraft decided to explore what would turn out to be a seemingly alter life, one which was full of interests and beliefs altogether foreign to her own, yet given circumstances of nature could well have been herself she was documenting.

“As Jessica [my first cousin once removed] proudly stands in front of me wearing red earmuffs and holding a semi-automatic rifle with a bayonet attached, I see a distinct reflection of myself in her, and this is something I could never have expected to find.” (Alice Schoolcraft)

The resulting work mixes intimate snapshots of a particular kind of everyday life with observational studies of a rural, pro-gun American family. The photographs drift smoothly between reactions of endearment and bewilderment, combining images of both shocking and compassionate moments.

The work is both a unique interpretation of an unwittingly controversial lifestyle and a fascinating reflection on the formation of social culture satisfying Nurture over Nature.

"The biggest challenge was to avoid getting into discussions about values, politics and religion: "I knew that we had different views on things, but I wanted to document their lives; not my own."
- Interview with Alice Schoolcraft by Eva Clifford, Huck Magazine

"Many of the photos track the ebb and flow of family life -- baking, blowing bubbles in the yard, dressing-up the pet dog -- as well as the lush, mountainous region where the Schoolcrafts live. But there is a strong, unavoidable emphasis on her relatives' weapon collections, and the role guns play in their lives goes far back."
- Ananda Pellerin, CNN Style