Carson Gilliland

“In Progress”

There are emotionally painful states that we seek out and believe to be worthwhile despite, and to some extent because of, their painful character. This form of remembering and re-experiencing may not be the product of will or desire, but of a chance encounter that revives the memories rather than personal volition.

The preservation of the past enables unwanted or hidden thoughts and memories to re-enter conscious awareness, often with the aid of interpretation. Within this preservation, the past endures in both conscious and subconscious mental life, influencing interacting phases of receptivity, re-immersion, and reflection.

My research and corresponding photographs seek to investigate the relationship between trauma and art, specifically how trauma, through cognitive memory can be communicated through visual, non-verbal communication. By employing Edward T. Hall’s theory of ‘Proxemics’, I focus on the intimacy of distance and color to transform my subconscious grief into visual imagery, highlighting how the psychic past influences present consciousness.

It has been said that man learns while he sees and what he learns influences what he sees, a view I have come to both appreciate and exercise. Through the beautification of personal grief, I am able to gain partial ownership over my traumatic experiences and exploit the past that continues to shape my life to this very day. The political significance of landscape and the variety of ideological concepts attached to it.