REVIEW: Paradise Wavering by Alice Hargrave
By Jenna Mercadante
Alice Hargrave’s Paradise Wavering is made up of dreamy and mysterious images of some of nature’s most captivating scenery.
Hargrave is a deeply talented artist who's work is heavily focused on the natural world, the use of colors and the way photographs and memories are linked. In Paradise Wavering, the viewer is thrown into a vast and peaceful, albeit eerie at times, world created by the photographer. Hargrave uses shadow play, alongside lines and textures to distort the viewer’s sense of time and place. The photographer pays close attention to color in the printing and post-production processes, mimicking the look of Autochrome images by washing out colors besides a few vibrant pops. The images are muted, usually monochrome with some gradients appearing throughout.
The photographs in Paradise Wavering are void of people. Hargrave is more interested in capturing a mood rather than having a focal point. By not having a clear subject nor informing viewers of the exact location of her images, Hargrave creates a feeling of disorientation; an otherworldly space for viewers to become lost in, like something out of a dream.
Throughout the publication, Hargrave couples the present with the past by including vintage photographs, courtesy of her and her family’s own collection, amidst more recent ones. “By using photographs as source material, I can repurpose old imagery into new work,” she says in the interview conducted by Kendra Paitz at the end of the book. The included photographs are reminiscent of snapshots taken on family vacations, faded and old.
Hargrave juxtaposes the idea of paradise and the haunting reality of what might happen to these environments over time. The photographs depict our memories, hazy and a bit blurred, and the truth that time changes all things.
Paradise Wavering was published by Daylight Books in May 2016 and can be bought here: