Untitled Narratives, Alavon; Artist Statement
The series, Untitled Narratives, features a combination of elements presenting a viewpoint of transition, identity, and performance. The series combines the female in the landscape, using both to represent a narrative. The photographs are a series of black and white imagery presenting a female figure in a natural environment, often associated with landscape. The figure is moving through the landscape often having the affect of being part of it.
The character in the work presented is a progression of a female figure that has been continuously photographed for over a year; her senses of self, awareness, and name have become a more active presence. The female figure is referred to as Alavon. The character, Alavon, is a representation of past and present identities, emotions, and forms of transformation. The theme of transition between identities is emphasized through the clarity and vague impressions of the body throughout the images, this is done through photographing with a long shutter speed, the camera technique referred to as long exposure time. Many photographs of the character are created using this camera technique, which often captures the movement of the subject. The movement is the visual element that is most symbolic of change, identity, and emotion. The time in which a person changes identities is a factor that is revealed in Untitled Narrative series. Transition is present not only in the movement of the character but is also aided by the setting in which the photographs are taken.
A natural landscape was used as a birthing point, to produce the character, and is continually being occupied as the space in which the images are taken. The organic setting being the birthing point from which the character exists becomes more formally approached as time passes. The photographing of the setting is delicately considered. The Landscape in the photographs is a representation, just as the character is, it is at times a haven, an enclosure, a rabbit hole, a prison, and a place of salvation. The telling of what the environment is symbolic of in a single photograph is assisted through the body movement of the character, Alavon. The elements in the frame become interactive with Alavon; branches, blades of grass, spider webs, sap, leaves, and at times a shadow of where the character was or is going to be. The scenery is not only an enclosure of sorts for the character but also a stage that presents the movement of the character, further assisting the relationship between the two. Alavon and the landscape at times are one; they collide with each other and in some circumstances Alavon exists in the landscape by being a part of it. The character and the landscape are of equal importance, they aid each other, informing the viewer of the identity of the character, or the transition she is in.
The landscape in the photographs is untouched before and during photographing the scene, giving the process of becoming the character, performing, and the setting authenticity. The scenery is a stage for the character and is informed through researching multiple performing artists and dance, specifically ballet and modern dance. Dance and theatrical set design aids the photographing of the setting and the choosing of where to place the camera in relationship with the character and her movement. The becoming of the character informs the reactions and dance in the environment. The body of the character and its relationship to the environment is a key factor in the imageries ability in becoming both photographic and performative. The performance is both a becoming of the character and a dance expressing experiences and emotions through movement according to her surroundings.