From 2013 to 2017, Jay Turner Frey Seawell photographed the National Mall, the commemorative epicenter of the United States. The ensuing body of work comes from Seawell's struggle with the mainstream narrative of United States history that marks the landscape of the Mall. These pictures arise from his deep skepticism about this narrative.
Seawell mostly drifts away from the iconic landmarks and toward the damaged, the discarded, and the anonymous, allowing for a personal depiction of the Mall. His work is a critical interpretation of a space that is designed and constructed to feel timeless. He resists the notion of the Mall as a place that holds absolute truths for all people.
Jay Turner Frey Seawell is a photographer based in Washington, DC. He earned his MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago in 2013. His photographs have been included in numerous exhibitions in the United States as well as the Pingyao International Photography Festival in China. Seawell is a two-time nominee of The Baum Award for An Emerging American Photographer (2014 and 2016). His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Photography and the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University. His photographs have appeared in various publications including VICE Magazine and Bloomberg Businessweek. Seawell is the 2016 recipient of the Award for Innovation in the Documentary Arts from the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University. His first photobook National Trust was published by Skylark Editions in 2016.