Unlike many creatives, Erinn can’t really specify the “aha moment” where she realised she wanted to be a photographer. Instead, she says that she’s always had an interest in 2D mediums, “but as other interests dissipated or transformed into other explorations, photography outlasted them all”. Enjoying the instant satisfaction and portability of a camera, Erinn attests to always being on the move, both “mentally and physically”. With her first camera being digital, everything she initially shot was in colour. It wasn’t until she started playing with film – and became interested in the work of Sally Mann and Vivian Maier – that she really began to develop her trademark black and white style.
Erinn’s other personal series, Dormant Seasons, interacts much more with her interest in the natural environment. Imagining that the people from her hometown are “all grown from the earth, much like the crops we harvest”, Erinn sees the relationship between the environment and people as sacred. “So much of my family and community’s work and history has been dictated by the dramatic seasons”, she adds. Dramatic weather is something that features prominently throughout the series. In one stand out piece, a young child stares contemplatively down into a frozen lake; a fishing line resting on the surface as a symbol of human perseverance.
With a clear understanding of the ephemerality of the seasons, Erinn details that the residents of her small hometown also have “such a close connection with death”. And, as a result, Erinn tells us that she attended a lot of funerals as a child. She only realised this was considered strange whilst living in New York, when some of her friends in their late 20s were only just attending their first wake. “There may be less people here but everyone is much more involved with everybody’s lives”, the photographer powerfully concludes.