Gillian Hyland creates supernatural staged images, presented as film stills or dramatic moments. Hyland’s unsettling mise-en-scene are full of sex and desire, sadness and nostalgia. Narratives that are psychologically evocative, at once sublimely theatrical yet poignant.
Like Richard Avedon and Guy Bourdin, the mix of fashion and art has challenged us to accept stylised new ideas of femininity and masculinity, innocence and sensuality. Hyland describes herself as an image maker and story teller. Her dramatic photographs are based on her own poems, and depict characters in human dramas and isolated emotional situations. Frozen in time, solitary and vulnerable moments are presented in glorious technicolor and timeless sets.
Encapsulating her memories and emotions in poems she then transforms these into images, offering a new perspective. The imagery plays with our notions of nostalgia, and taps into society’s cultural understanding of feelings and beliefs. The composition of each image suggests a larger narrative within a single moment. The photograph explores Hyland’s sense of self and society and aims to engage and trigger an emotional response from the viewer.
‘It’s not about creating a pretty picture, for me it’s the intention that lies beneath it that is truly worthwhile. I’m drawn to the thinking mind behind the face, the subject’s eyes holding a story in their gaze, that is what I aim to capture through my photographs’.