Amy Thompson Avishai
Long Days, Short Years
My daughters are four and six. I am mesmerized by them. And although motherhood often overwhelms me, I am also aware of time moving through them and passing quickly.
In the past, my photographic documentary work relied on gaining access, slowly building trust. I used to walk around on the edge of life, making pictures, looking in. But now my girls hang on me – I’m in it. When intuition moves me and I pick up my camera, they seem to understand. I am mother and photographer, in the moment and preserving it.
Within these frames, I find a balance that doesn’t exist day to day – a whisper about the vastness of life, the silent passage of time, and the freedom to be.
Amy Thompson Avishai, the daughter of an American military attaché, was raised in Morocco, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. She returned to the U.S. and began freelancing out of the New York Times’ Washington D.C. bureau. Amy later created documentary projects in Cambodia, Morocco and Ohio, during her graduate studies at the School of Visual Communication at Ohio University. She teaches at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. Her latest work, Long Days, Short Years, is about family, motherhood and life in America.
An educator, panelist, visiting artist and guest lecturer, Amy has presented at the D.C. Fulbright panel, Can Photography Make a Difference?, the Global Understanding Convention, Within These Walls: Educating Girls in Rural Morocco, Simon Guggenheim Library, New Jersey, and Griffin Museum of Photography, MA, Journalists Reporting in Asia, Michigan State University, among others. Her work has also been shared at high schools and universities and has been used to support girls’ education in rural Morocco.
Group exhibitions include: Across the Divide, Critical Mass Top 50 Photographers traveling show, Investing in Women and Girls, World Bank headquarters, Washington D.C. and the 2015 New England Photography Biennial, Danforth Museum of Art, Massachusetts. Solo shows include Within These Walls: Educating Girls in Rural Morocco, PHOTOSTOP Gallery, which included a panel discussion and was awarded Best Art Exhibit of the Year in the Upper Valley region of Vermont and New Hampshire.
Amy is the recipient of a Fulbright Grant, South East Asia Studies Grant (Ohio University), Paul Schutzer Memorial Award for Advanced Documentary Work and has twice been recognized as one of PhotoLucida’s Critical Mass – Top 50 Photographers. Paris Photo Prize (PX3 Prix de la Photographie) and the Lucie Foundation’s International Photography Awards have also recognized her work. A featured photographer in National Geographic magazine, her photos have also appeared in literary journals, newspapers and are held in private collections.
Contact Amy Thompson Avishai