Gina Roston

Blue Jeans and Friends
As a mother and photographic artist, I am acutely aware that we are living in a culture of mass production and consumption, with little reverence for things that have craftsmanship and history. Lately, I find myself returning to the qualities of earlier times, where less is more, quality reigns over quantity and where things like the “rag doll” are cherished once again and enjoyed by generations. It’s because of this that I have been revisiting treasured toys from my childhood and acknowledging the profound sense of personal history that they afford me.
Florence and Blue Jeans were the most beloved of all my toys. When my daughter turned 3yrs, I decided it was time to take the dolls out of storage so I could hand down her first “rag doll”.   Not having seen them for years, I was struck by the amount of detail, imagination and love that went into the making of each one. The dolls were handmade by “Nana” Charlotte, fashioned from dresses she deemed no longer wearable and other rag fabrics and notions she kept lying around the house. 

Over the years she made 11 dolls each with their own personality and charm.  As a child, they provided me with a sense of comfort and security, friendship and love.  As an adult, each doll evoked childhood memories that were long forgotten. The scraps of fabric from my grandmother’s dresses, the careful stitching from her capable hands and the effort and care she took to make them unique are parts of my history that I want to celebrate and memorialize.

Artist Bio:
Gina Roston was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA.  Her vivid imagination and need to explore people and places outside her realm led her to study abroad at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art for a summer and then backpack alone throughout Europe visiting 11 countries and numerous cities.  It was during this trip that her eyes and heart became opened to the history, people, struggles and joys of the world and as a result she came to the conclusion that the pursuit of one’s dreams was the only path to walk in life.  

Upon returning to the States, Gina pursued a career in Theatre Arts.  She studied the Meisner Technique and graduated from the Joanne Baron DW Brown Studio and holds a BA degree of Theatre Arts from California State University Northridge.  She worked professionally as a model and actress for 10 years before turning to photography. 

After an extended trip to France and Spain in 2008, Gina decided to turn her passion for photography from hobby to career.   Gina immersed herself in the art and craft of photography and was the recipient of the 2012 Bernice Abbot Prize for an Emerging Photographer.  She is a graduate of the Professional Photography Program at the Julia Dean School ( JDPW ) in Hollywood, CA where she currently holds residency.  Gina’s work has exhibited in galleries nationwide and she is currently working on two fine art series involving social issues dear to her heart.  She lives in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles with her husband, their two children and pets Panda, Emmi, Francis and Baby.

Artist Statement:
Photography allows me to look deeper.
Connect with people I may never have otherwise known.
Ask questions.  
Venture on roads I may have never turned on.  
Photography allows my heart to grow bigger.  Allows me to see myself in others and see in others qualities I admire and aspire to have.  
Images evoke memories for me and help me to seek understanding.  Sometimes it’s therapy.  
Photography makes me think.  Ask questions of myself I may be afraid to answer.  Challenges me to grow and be a better person, a better mother. 
Photography allows me to create.  I’ve always been told that creativity is for dreamers and that dreamers don’t hold real jobs or real value in life. 
I know that now to be false.  It is my dreams that have taken me farther than my own front door.  To places and to people that have opened their own doors to me and have allowed me to share in their own dreams so that I might know I am not the only one.
Photography is a gift.  
My hope is to share that gift with others through my imagery.

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