We are proud to showcase the work of Chanel Irvine, a new contributor. As a documentary photographer, Chanel’s practice seeks to portray the power of human initiative, connection and contribution. Inspired by the importance of constructive, solution-based journalism, she embraces visual communication that empowers readers and subjects alike. Her stories often focus on livelihoods, environments and communities that are susceptible to change based on emerging trends, development demands and environmental pressures. Aware of the multitude of sustainability issues they face, she is particularly interested in the people and organisations who are working to make a positive environmental and social impact in their communities.
Using a retrospective lens, Chanel’s more personal work similarly reflects this tension between preservation and change. With an eye for moments she deems timeless, her observations consistently focus on scenes that are reminiscent of older, simpler times, which persist seemingly unaffected by the advancements that otherwise transform the world we live in. As a result, her photographs accentuate the “ordinary” – reasserting its importance as a photographic subject and highlighting the beauty that can constantly be rediscovered in the everyday.
In ‘anywhere but here’, Alison McCauley expresses the restless feeling that has haunted her throughout her life: that the place she is in isn’t where she should be, and a conviction that the next place will be better. Taken from 2008 to the present, these images—taken in various locations around the world—are a deeply personal reflection of the artist’s emotions, photography being a cathartic means of coming to terms with her constant desire to move. As someone who has always led a semi-nomadic lifestyle, McCauley seeks to explore the idea of not belonging. Though she feels like she is supposed to belong somewhere, McCauley doesn’t want to, as she recognises that it is the wonder of this belonging that is the impetus behind her work.
Devoid of geographical and temporal reference points, the images are figuratively and literally blurred to emphasise that this is not about a location or time, but rather a state of mind. For the viewer the series takes on a narrative of its own, unfolding like a dream sequence: a body submerged in water, a flurry of balloons released into the open sky, city lights streaming through a hotel room, and fleeting scenes captured from a car window. Just as she is drawn to movement, it is these liminal spaces that the artist gravitates towards – the chaos, the stillness, and the magic in between. “The work comes from reality, but it’s a reality that’s distorted by subjectivity,” says McCauley. “It’s an expression of my state of mind during these restless off-moments.”