Fine Art Photography Daily

Alison McCauley: Anywhere But Here


©Alison McCauley, Early winter, 2020

This week we feature projects that explore the psychological landscape.

There are always fears and inhibitions that we as people carry with us throughout our lives. Some are small and others are large, but there are nagging thoughts that stick out in our minds and mold our perception. Alison McCauley is a photographer who allows for her subjective experience to constantly be at the forefront of her intuitive-making process. In her specific body of work Anywhere But Here she unpacks an idea that has haunted her forever. She focuses on the notion that where she is right now is not where she is supposed to be, and a certainty that the next place she goes will be superior. McCauley hits upon this idea that the grass is greener on the other side of her imagery, and evokes a sense of desire to move past the current moment on the way to the next.


©Alison McCauley, Fairy lights, 2017

In her images, viewers will see the artist coming to terms with the innate desire to keep moving along a prolonged period from 2008 until 2020. Many different places across the globe are explored and blurred to hone in on not a specific area, but instead the attachment to transitioning towards something better. McCauley has always led a semi-nomadic lifestyle and it has certainly impacted the way she engages with the world around her. There is no particular point of rest or stillness in any of these images, but always a deep sense of emotional response to the ongoing desire to advance to the next space.


©Alison McCauley, Wetlands spider, 2021

McCauley engages in spaces that are obscured by movement leaving little to make out and inherently transient rooms, such as hotels, that give a sense of on-the-go image-making. She does not shy away from the chaotic, the still, and even the in-between moments felt in this headspace. Instead, the artist encompasses many visual strategies to hint at the feeling of longing for something beyond the frame and a moment of passage. She does a magnificent job at finding inventive ways to embody this desire to never stop moving. When compiled into one series there is a dreamlike quality that comes through. McCauley is not concerned with a traditional narrative and attaches a non-linear approach to sequencing that lends itself to creating an emotional undertone in the images. She is incredible at being the most restless photographer around and allows for that feeling to be present in all of her images. The psychological impact that these images have is immense as viewers try to grasp some semblance of place or reality, but in the end, are left with just a fleeting feeling.


©Alison McCauley, Early winter migration, 2020

Alison McCauley is a photographer whose approach to the people and locations she photographs is instinctive, open-ended and subjective. She weaves her images together to create non-linear, intuitive narratives. Alison’s work often explores the idea of identity, belonging and memory. Her images are frequently infused with melancholy and feelings of restlessness and loss. Alison is especially interested in presenting her visual narratives in books that she makes by hand and in traditionally published books.

Alison is a member of UP Photographers and a selection of her work is represented by Millennium Images. Her work has been featured widely in print and online.

Alison is currently based in Geneva and the south of France.

 Instagram: @alisonmccauley/


©Alison McCauley, Mountain flowers, 2020


©Alison McCauley, Insomnia, 2020


©Alison McCauley, Swiss hotel, 2020


©Alison McCauley, Abandoned school bus, 2018

flower woman

©Alison McCauley, Winter flowers, 2020

from the series "anywhere but here"

©Alison McCauley, Ghost girl, 2008


©Alison McCauley, Cave 2017

Author Info:

Joe Cuccio is an image maker based in Rochester, NY. His images respond to a variety of arresting moments and harness the movement that occurs as life forges on. Inspiration for him arrives from chaotic and serene emotional experiences. Creating images is his way of highlighting humanity’s fleeting existence. He is an MFA candidate at Rochester Institute of Technology pursuing a degree in Photography and Related Media. His work has been exhibited at Memorial Art Gallery and Soho Photo Gallery. He has also contributed written pieces for Museé Magazine and Float Magazine.


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