FIRST PLACE: Ally Campbell 'A Time Machine'
N.Y. Photo Curator: Global Photography Awards- 'Where Photography & Philanthropy Meet' FIRST PLACE: Ally Campbell 'A Time Machine'
A TIME MACHINE by Ally Campbell
(Click on image for larger view)

Curator Granville Carroll says, "I kept coming back to this image. The light, the shadows, the composition, and the colors continuously spoke to me. This image reflects our collective need to find and hold onto something meaningful. I couldn’t help but sense a longing for a time before this one, for a moment before consciousness grew into a humanoid form reflecting upon its existence. 
The abstract nature of the image prompted me to meditate on what the simple gesture of a hand reaching forward could represent. It brought me to a place of stillness, while simultaneously invigorating a sense of movement and vibration. What lies beyond the border of the frame and the confines of the background is unknown to the viewer. Like many origin stories, both personal and collective, this image symbolizes how one is tasked with unravelling the unknown and that which has been lost due to displacement, violence, natural disaster, and more. This image reflects the collective action to search for belonging and the personal journey to understand oneself in relation to the larger expanse of society and the whole of the universe. A Time Machine is the perfect title for this image. It pushes and pulls the viewer between several points of time. It forces one to contend with confusion and loss. There is a boldness that is erupted from the intense light; it blinds us while holding and caressing us. The glow produced by an unknown object is reminiscent of the afterlife or beforelife.
I am particularly intrigued by the way this image fuses together the abstract and representational aspects of photography and how it blends the most foundational aspects of the medium (light and shadow) to create a loose narrative that is complex. I felt that this image invites the viewer into a new dimensional way of thinking and being. There is an ethereal quality that this image possesses and gifts the viewer with. This image has invoked a sense of being that moved me to a place of wonderment, of joy, loss, abundance, and fear. It is multidimensional, just as our individual and collective origin stories are.
What is it about the ephemeral nature of existence that draws you to make work about it?"

Ally Campbell says, "I wanted to believe photographs could be accurate representations of experiences. That this place, person, or moment could remain exactly how it once was, and I could hold onto it forever through an image. A mentor helped me realized that no photograph is entirely truthful, and that’s the beauty of the medium. This dichotomy between representation and reality, desire and truth, memory and experience is what drives me to make photographs."

Granville Carroll asks, "Is there a specific personal origin story or narrative that inspired this image?"

Campbell says, "Whenever I visited the town I grew up in, I used to drive to all of the places that had meaning to me in the town – past houses that used to be different colors, through neighborhoods that were once desolate. This ritual became a type of obsession that I would do every time I came home, wondering if I could see something I hadn’t before. I needed to go back in time, to make more sense of who I am today. I made this picture after I pulled into the driveway with no new revelation, only the idea that my car is a time machine – a vehicle through which I could revisit the past."

Ally Campbell (b.1995) is a Brooklyn based photographic artist. She received her BFA in Photography with a minor in Art History at the Lesley University College of Art and Design in 2017 and MLA in Museum Studies at Harvard University in 2021. Her work has been exhibited at the Laconia Gallery, Cambridge Art Association, Raizes Gallery Spaceus and various online galleries. Campbell’s work continuously explores themes of the ephemeral, memory, and the loss that occurs between reality and representation.
Career Highlights: 
Published Midnight Drive with Trash Press, curated exhibition Reimagining Home at Spaceus, featured artist on From Here on Out.