Process and Ideas

I borrowed my Dad's 35mm Nikon FE film camera in high school for my first photography class; I was 15 years old.

Suffice to say, I never gave my Dad his camera back. 


Madison Fairburn is a photographer and educator who lives in Charlottesville, VA. If you look inside her family photo albums, you’ll see her parents’ landscaping successes. Photos of plants, their blooms, and the arrangement of them in the yard are next to family holiday photos and birthday celebrations which noted their importance. These albums also held pictures of her paternal grandfather’s farm and maternal grandfather’s elaborate garden. Madison did not inherit her parent’s natural greenthumb, but did receive a visual language rooted in the earth, agricultural practices, and a strong appreciation for all things botanical.  She enjoys tedious, obsessive, and labor-intensive processes as much as she loves conceptual work. Her work floats somewhere in between these two worlds.

Artist Statement

Madison is interested in creating relationships between images and objects interacting on a visual plane. She constructs or builds somewhere in her process, either before picking up a camera or long after setting  it down. Loss, grief, growth and healing are central in her work --  looking at the systems, cycles, and metaphors in nature, and the connection we seek as humans to those seemingly invisible, yet incredibly prominent forces around us. She is interested in visual storytelling based on what she is emotionally processing and hopes that her images speak when words are not enough. Her work includes a hybrid of darkroom prints, color film scans, and digital media. 

Using Format