2014 Shortlisted artist Gillian Hyland is a photographer, whose work explores themes of narrative and storytelling. She tells us more about her work and life as an artist:
What is it about Young Masters that you are most interested in?
The timeless reflections on art, the parallels between the past and today. The appreciation of the process of an artist.
Can you explain to us what your work is about?
The photographs are part of an ongoing project ‘Words in Sight’, which is a narrative photography series that has been inspired by poetry I’ve written over the past decade. The images are not a literal description of a memory but an ambiance, enabling the emotional core and mood to shine through. I create fictional environments, imaginative and theatrical in which I emphasise the characters emotional state by playing with colours, symbols, texture and aesthetic settings in order to produce an evocative atmosphere.
Which artist/s are you most inspired by?
Too many to list, all who use their emotions, experiences and their views of the world to create something interesting and unique.
Can you tell us something about your background?
I grew up in Ireland and moved to London 8 years ago, I’ve worked in the visual industry for 14 years as a stylist, art director and set designer. This diverse background helped me realise and develop an artistic, photographic approach which led to the creation of the series ‘Words in Sight’.
What inspired you to become an artist?
To express a deeper part of myself, to create something of beauty that makes you think and feel something. To reflect on life from a different perspective, and see it through different eyes.
If you weren’t an artist what would you be?
I think no matter what I choose in life I’d approach it with an artistic spirit, I can’t help but look for meaning and intrigue in the world around me .
What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
To dare to bare my soul. It has been a long process creating this series, first came the poems which are based on my life’s loves and losses. Often we hide what hurts us, I overcame my fear and exposed it to the world through my images. I’ve reinterpreted those memories and given them a new positive meaning in my life. Now they’re being exhibited around the world, that is so rewarding to see.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m currently working towards a book which will be a collection of the photographs from the series ‘Words in Sight’, I hope to include the poetry that inspired the images to present a fuller understanding to the viewer of the meaning behind the process.
Image above: Gillian Hyland, Unforgiven, 2013, photograph, 50.8×76.2cm