NOT REAL ART 2022 Grant Winner Y Hope Osborn: The Photographer Transcending Trauma Through Play [Podcast]

NOT REAL ART 2022 Grant Winner Y Hope Osborn: The Photographer Transcending Trauma Through Play [Podcast] cover

“My art has become my way to play,” says photographer Y Hope Osborn, who “never had any art education” but grew up with a camera in her hand.

In today’s podcast episode, the 2022 NOT REAL ART grant winner sits down with our host, Scott “Sourdough” Power, to talk about the healing power of art, writing, and play. “As a child, I was so stifled by abuse that I didn’t know how to play,” Hope says. “I didn’t know how to be a child. You’d put these toys in front of me and I’m like, ‘They’re just things, I’m supposed to do what with them?’ And it didn’t make any sense or mean anything in my world.”

Hope, an Arkansas-based writer and self-taught photographer, describes her art as a form of play, an outpouring of expression, and a tool to transcend the trauma she experienced as a child: “Now I have this freedom,” she says, “even in bad health and in still dealing with trauma and everything, I have this freedom to be creative and play in my art. Whether it's in my digital, abstract art or in finding a creative perspective of an old building.”

Taking us back to her childhood, Hope chats about her interest in photography as a timeless medium—“moments slip by so fast and memory slips by so fast but photographs can last for centuries”—and expands on her fascination with old buildings and barns. "I can't tell you how many times I passed barns without a second or even first glance,” Hope says of Roundup, a digital photographic series that impressed NOT REAL ART grant panel judges during the 2022 cycle. “Now I notice these ordinary structures for the extraordinary variety of architecture from unnamed architects, and for being stalwarts of the rural. When all else falls, these rural stalwarts stand.”

To Hope, art is freedom and safety all at once, a tool for both deep catharsis and lighthearted experimentation. Tune in to this week’s episode with photographer Y Hope Osborn to hear an inspiring story about courage, creativity, and resilience.


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