All You Can Lose Is Your Heart

KayLynn Deveney

Research output: Non-textual formArtefact


Via a photographic examination of post-World War II “Cinderella”-style houses of Albuquerque, New Mexico, this research investigates notions of the “ideal” American home and the modern-day realities facing Western middle-class families. Never before the subject of a published work of photographic art, these houses are now studied through an extended series of more than 40 original photographic works that focus primarily on the houses’ exteriors. The images reach beyond depiction, however, to act as metaphorical family portraits, the cumulative details outside the homes reflecting those who live and have lived inside. Together these photographs prompt significant questions concerning Western constructions of family, home, and history, and the ways those perceptions have shifted as the economy has fluctuated and the model of the nuclear family has come under increasing scrutiny. Contextual grounding for this work lies principally in images made by the American photographers of the New Topographics movement beginning in 1975. In deadpan photographs, Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz, Henry Wessel Jr. and others examined the ways Americans utilized and characterized their landscapes, neighbourhoods, and homes. However, Bill Owen’s work Suburbia (published 1973) also has a direct connection to my research as it photographically interrogates ideas and trends that affected American families at home. More recent work around similar themes can be located in Martin Parr’s photographs of English prefab homes and Alejandro Cartegena’s Suburbia Mexicana. My photographic research is underpinned by my PhD research, which focused on reflections of home via the photographic diary. While there is no autobiographical text with this work, it does focus on ways Westerners understand, depict, and reflect on home. My photographs carry on from the formal depictions of the New Topographics movement to include images that reach beyond the deadpan style to represent the homes in a more interpretive way, one designed to emphasize and question the particular myths of home reinforced in the Cinderella style. As of 2012 the production of the research is culminating. However, the dissemination of the research, and its impact, are just beginning to be visible. To date three group exhibitions have included the work. My intent is to publish a book in 2013 and to hang exhibitions in connection with the book’s publication. I believe the research will have a diverse international audience. It will appeal to audiences interested in pop culture, architecture, photography, community planning, and cultural anthropology, among other things. I also plan to investigate possibilities for collaborative exhibitions and events that incorporate cross-disciplinary dialogue.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationArtist's archive
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 6 Jun 2010
EventRarefied Light - International Gallery of Contemporary Art / Anchorage, Alaska, USA
Duration: 7 Oct 201130 Oct 2011

Bibliographical note

Essays by two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and Washington Post staff writer Hank Stuever and photo-historian and theorist Dr. Ian Walker of the University of Wales, Newport will accompany the practical work.
Event (exhibition): *20
A group exhibition featuring the work of 20 photographers previously exhibited in solo shows in the Hereford Photography Festival. Four images from All You Can Lose Is Your Heart: American Cinderella Ranch Homes were shown.
Hereford Museum and Art Gallery / Hereford, UK
22-10-2010 / 27-11-2010
Event (exhibition): Different Dimension: The Novosibirsk International Festival of Contemporary Photography
Six images from All You Can Lose Is Your Heart: American Cinderella Ranch Homes were included in this group exhibition.
Novosibirsk State Art Museum, / Russia
06-06-2010 / 10-08-2010
Outputmediatype: 40 Pigment prints


  • Photographs
  • Cinderella
  • 1950's
  • Post-WorldWar II
  • houses
  • domesticity
  • home


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