Gillian Hyland creates supernatural staged images, presented as film stills or dramatic moments. Hyland’s unsettling mise-en-scene are full of sex and desire, sadness and nostalgia. Narratives that are psychologically evocative; at once sublimely theatrical yet poignant. Hyland describes herself as an image maker and story teller. Her dramatic photographs are based on her own poems and depict characters in human dramas and isolated emotional situations. Frozen in time, solitary and vulnerable moments are presented in glorious technicolour and timeless sets.
Encapsulating her memories and emotions in poems she then transforms these into images, offering a new perspective. The imagery plays with our notions of nostalgia and taps into society’s cultural understanding of feelings and beliefs. The composition of each image suggests a larger narrative within a single moment. Hyland personally composes every aspect of her pictures, a skill gained from 14 years in the visual industry. The artist’s career began in publishing, where she worked as a fashion stylist and feature writer for a number of well-known magazines. This led to a move into the television industry, and later the film industry, where Hyland worked in a variety of roles including fashion stylist, set designer, and art director.
This diverse creative background helped her develop a passion for making images, which evolved into her own distinctive, photographic style. “It’s not about creating a pretty picture, for me it’s the intention that lies beneath it that is truly worthwhile. I’m drawn to the thinking mind behind the face, the subject’s eyes holding a story in their gaze.”