Jackie Neale is a muse in our portrait/interview series Muses Surround Us with Emily "Birdie" Busch.
Birdie's challenge is to tease out candid responses from fellow artistic, industrious women. What muses! A link to all the interviews is at the end of this page.
To sum it up casually, if you wanna know about anything film photography Jackie Neale is UR GIRL. But you’ll find nothing casual about the commitment and dedication of Jackie to the art and process of such a specific medium. Her unique captures document some of the most important topics of our time. Photography is her conduit for telling the stories that need to be told. As she says in her artist statement from her show Crossing Over: Immigration Stories, “People are important. All stories are meaningful. When one listens, one learns. When one learns, one begins to see a deeper humanity, a common thread, a shared ground.”
This shared ground recently has had her work traveling overseas for the renowned Venice Biennale Exhibition in 2019. Over twenty large format fabric cyanotypes (a traditional non-silver chemistry process) were exhibited. In Crossing Over: Immigration Stories she uses the cyanotypes as portrait imprints, accompanied by audio interviews with folks from Europe to Mexico taking oral accounts of their life as immigrants, descendants of immigrants, and asylum seekers.
The oversized pieces hang dreamily as indigo colored abstractions, larger than life portraits that act as portals to connection and invocations of thought. It’s a project that seems like a continuous thread, and one that Jackie is still growing and showing to different communities.
A forever champion of film photography, in 2009 she created (and operates as both the Lead Photographer and Director for) Big Day Film Collective, an advocacy group for what is left of the traditional film photographer world devoted to the support, research, and exhibition of film photography, alternative processes, and the hybrid use of all these techniques. Jackie enables art buyers and editors to use a classic medium in modern media by delivering first-class, full-production photography services.
Jackie provides a large knowledge base for arts professionals wanting the look of film based images with the production turn around and expertise of digital. It’s a niche service of utmost craftsmanship that grows in importance as a specialty that few are as adept at as Jackie.
Her cap feathers include artist, curator, educator, author, leader, and activist amongst other things. Her experience is rooted in a broad spectrum of both institutional roles, like working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as former Imaging Producer of Online Features, and street presence, as captured in her book of photos entitled #subway series, which documented the New York subway with over 800 images of the New York City subway system.
The Collective’s home base and gallery space is now in Collingswood, NJ, with convenient access from both New York and Philadelphia. Heading there for an exhibition opening or during gallery hours is a great way to jump into Jackie’s vision and bear witness to the beauty of film photography in real time!
Recommended links for taking a more in-depth look at Jackie Neale’s work:
Jackie Neale’s own website: https://www.jackiephoto.com/
The online home base for the Big Day Film Collective: https://bigdayfilmcollective.com
What is a career/creative moment you are proud of?
I've never been so proud as I was to show my Crossing Over: Immigration Stories at the Venice Biennale exhibition at the European Cultural Centre in 2019, and my Mother, Stepfather, Uncle, and Aunt and friends from The Met were all there to see the work at the Vernissage. It is, so far, the highlight of my life.
What are you listening to now? What are you looking at? What recipe you feeling?
I am totally hooked on a bunch of songs (just to name a few) -
- Deerhunter, He would have Laughed
- Temples, Shelter Song
- Gary Numan, Cars
- The Association, Never My Love
- The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, I Won't Hurt You
- Death Cab For Cutie, Expo '86
- Nirvana, Gallons of Rubbing Alcohol - (but the whole album really if I am being honest)
- Strafe, Set it Off
- Nathaniel Merriweather, Pit Stop
- Elbow, Mexican Standoff
- Sufjan Stevens, Chicago
- Wet Leg, Chaise Longue
- The Cure, Disintegration (full album)
How do you define your own personal style or approach to clothes?
I typically go for very different, funky types of clothing if I am not just in shorts, t-shirt, and flip flops.
What would be your advice to a teenage girl clothing and style wise that you wish you had received?
No matter what you think, how you look is not a make or break event. No one is really looking all that closely at you, so do what you want and how you want. When you're in communion with your style and clothing you will be happiest. Also, don't listen to your Mom.