DeAnn Desilets: Landscape Through The Looking Glass
Photographer DeAnn Desilets has long been intrigued by scale, perception, and the natural world. Throughout her numerous projects she has examined space with the use of miniatures, layering a sense of whimsy and illusion to her photographs. Her new project (which also doubles as her MFA thesis) is Landscape Through The Looking Glass, a nod to Lewis Carroll’s tale of altered states. DeAnn’s photographs challenge our acumen for reality, leaving us to wonder if we sipped from the bottle labeled “DRINK ME” or sampled the cake labeled “EAT ME”. Tapping into childhood memories of forays into the woods, DeAnn plays not only with the perception of objects in the landscape, but her own sense of place in the universe.
DeAnn grew up in the beach town of Red Bank, NJ which was bordered by horse farms and dozens of parks and hiking trails. It was here she gleaned a love of life and nature through everything around her. Encouraged to channel her “inner weirdo” by her parents, she learned to appreciate the natural world and the arts and followed a long path to self exploration. She received a BFA at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, where she spend over a decade in the industry as a retoucher, editor and photographer working for corporations and freelance clients. In 2010 however, she chose to go back to school for her MFA through the Academy of Art University. Deann’s work has been included in group and solo exhibitions across the country. She current lives in Bethlehem, PA and when not carrying a camera, has a retouching business.
Landscape Through The Looking Glass
“It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become.” ~Dr Seuss, The Lorax
When I was little, I used to sit in the woods behind my house and create stories. The bottom of trees became fairy worlds where moss became carpets and rocks transformed to fences. I fought many dragons with just a twig as my sword. My mind was open to experience and wonder, and I was not afraid to get dirty to watch and explore. I brought home frogs and turtles, watched monarch caterpillar chrysalis on milkweed plants, and followed chipmunks so I could leave them peanuts outside their burrows. The natural world drew me in then, and it still does so today.
Changing perceptions in our real world can be a strong conduit for emotional experiences. These connectors transport us to a world of wild imagination, vulnerability, fear, comfort, disorientation, warmth and uncertainty.
There is an inherent magic and wonder in the moments of self-discovery, through childlike imagination when we stop and experience the worlds around us to give new perspectives on who we are and where we are in our lives. Through my imagery my intent is to recapture the feeling of possibilities using my own internal responses from the location I am shooting to create mystery, mood and inquiry.The play of size, scale and illusion in the cover of night or with the play of light in the day becomes a channel for this emotion. Using different size furniture throughout the series is not just to throw off perceptions and lead us to more inquisitive outcomes; it is an exploration in the push pull of adult vs., child, big vs. small, and living in one world and time of our lives and eliciting the emotions of another.
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