2011 Winners - Runner-up: Lisa Lindvay

My Dad Standing in the Flower Pot

Nick in His Old Bedroom



Stephanie in the Recliner

Editorial Statement:
Lindvay’s intimate photographs of her siblings and father in their home, as they come to terms with her mother’s mental illness, challenge our notion of domestic bliss. The house is a mess—overrun by soda bottles, pizza boxes, computer wires, and detritus lodged in the carpet—and each family member seems to be suspended in their own private world.

The father pauses to stand in a potted flowerbed outside, his feet on the growing flowers in a kind of inverse birth-of-Venus—in which he, like the family, is regressing rather than being born. The teenage brothers and sister lie down, individually, on the floor in various rooms of the house, themselves adrift not unlike the clutter surrounding them. The blinds are closed on a bright day. Though the mother is absent from all of the photos, one gets the sense that the deteriorating domestic condition reflects her mental state, as well as a transition to the teens having the run of the house.

The images are unsparing, but never unkind. The house itself feels neglected, but at the same time it is clearly a comfort to the family, a place where they can be both vulnerable and free. Though things are coming apart there, the home could very well be the structure that holds them together.


Lisa Lindvay is a Chicago based photographer. She received her MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago in 2009 and BA in Photography from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2005. Lindvay has exhibited internationally and her photographs are included various public and private collections. She is the recipient of the 2011 3Arts Artist Award.

Artist’s Website:

2011 Aperture Portfolio Prize Winner: Sarah Palmer
Runner-up: Thibault Brunet
Runner-up: Lisa Lindvay
Runner-up: Andrew McConnell
Runner-up: Louie Palu

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