Two Inadequate Voices


2IV is a platform for image-makers to recount and reflect textually on their stories of being out in the world whilst photographing.

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Alison McCauley
Anywhere but Here

For a long time I wanted to go out in the world and to tell the stories that I thought needed greater visibility but, about twelve years ago, I lost faith in the idea of “concerned” photography and realised that I was never going to make enough of a difference and that photography probably wasn’t the best way to tell these stories anyway. Once I accepted this, I gravitated naturally back towards my visual arts background and towards a slower, more personal type of photography.

Free from responsibility and no longer having to answer to anyone, I’m able to explore my own psyche and express my state of mind while pointing my camera outward, towards other people, animals or landscapes… basically at everything that draws my attention or speaks to me.  Subject matter is everywhere, and my process is instinctive.  It’s liberating and the idea of looking inward while pointing my camera outward always challenges and excites me.

The first images that came from this personal way of working came about in an accidental way one winter evening quite a few years ago, during a period that I felt particularly restless and unhappy with the city I was living in.  I was bored with trying to photograph in the cold, dark and quiet streets of Geneva and went inside a coffee shop. I began to absent-mindedly fool around with a little compact and the reflections on the glass of the window.  Later when I looked through the images, I realised I had made a breakthrough. The images seemed to express the restlessness and melancholy that I felt at that time.  They became the earliest photographs of my on-going series Anywhere but Here, which is about restlessness and longing to be somewhere else.  These catalytic images helped me to see that I needed to switch off my brain and shoot with my heart.  I soon started to weave my images together to create other non-linear, intuitive narratives. The work explores themes that concern me, and the process helps me to work through my emotions and worries.  As long as I remain open to what happens within me and around me, the images will be honest and I hope they will be more likely to resonate with viewers.

Alison is currently based in Geneva and Cannes and her photographic approach to the people and locations she depicts is instinctive, open-ended and subjective and presented through non-linear, intuitive narratives. She is a member of UP Photographers and a selection of her work is represented by Millennium Images.