One, One Thousand | Southern Photography


by Leslie Burns

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Project statement:

"Frank" is an old CPR mask. Its original function was as an aide in the instruction of life-saving techniques. Within my images, the mask functions as a tool to increase the viewer's awareness of common human experiences.

When the mask has no physical structure to give it form, it morphs into something unsettling and frightening, much like the world in which we find ourselves when faced with fear or doubt. Although Frank's face remains in a disturbingly fixed position when worn, the model, through his or her body language, is able to communicate universal emotion.

Once the viewer gets over the initial shock of the disconcerting mask, he or she can see that "Frank" feels the same emotional highs and lows that we all share.

My goal is for the mask to jar the viewer out of his or her comfort zone so the viewer is shaken free of any preconceptions and is able to recognize how similar we are, as beasts and as humans, so that we may bypass the prejudices we hold for the unknowns and appreciate each other on an immediately genuine level.


Bio and contact:

Leslie Burns (b.1975) is a native of South Carolina currently living in Athens, Georgia. She earned a BA in Studio Art from the College of Charleston in 1999. In 2011 she earned her MFA from the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia. When not making photographs, Leslie participates in playtime with subterranean termites and Freida Mae Bouvier.


Leslie Burns is an Athens, GA, based photographer.
To view more of her work, please visit her website:
You can also contact Leslie by e-mail: