Cross Road Blues
The series borrows its title from the legendary blues song by Robert Johnson which some claim is a reference to the singer selling his soul to the devil at a Mississippi Delta crossroads. The mythology surrounding Johnson’s song can be interpreted as a cautionary tale of the price paid for the American Dream, and Kellett’s allusion to it leaves the viewer wondering if the figures in his photographs chose their souls or their dreams at their crossroads.
“In the summer of 2019 I took this photograph in Rio de Janeiro, it shows a man waiting at a crossroad pointing directly up at the sky while the woman he is with shields her eyes from the sun and follows where he is pointing with his finger. In hindsight I realise his moment was the end of the Cross Road Blues series of photographs. For over 3 years whilst photographing people waiting at crossroads, I had been asking myself similar questions to the ones alluded to in my photographs, questions about decisions and directions I wanted life to take. The gesture of the finger pointing up to the sky brings so many art historical references to mind, and they all question ideas of spirituality and immortality. The photograph above felt like a sign and more importantly a stepping stone to explore more metaphysical ideas in my work. It felt like having taken this photography, I had permission to move my work forwards and, in doing so, bringing the cross road Blues work to a natural end.