Allison Jarek is an American photographer whose work explores themes such as human relationship with nature, female identity, and personal journeys. She received her MFA in Photography from Texas Woman’s University in the spring of 2015 and her BFA in Photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2011. Her work has been shown nationally, at venues such as SlowExposures, PhotoNOLA, New Orleans Photo Alliance, the University of Central Florida, and Clemson University. Allison’s work has also been featured in publications such as The Oxford American magazine, FotoFilmic, SHOTS Magazine, The Hand magazine, and South x Southeast Photomagazine. She currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia and serves as the Director for the nonprofit Illuminate Atlanta.
In the essay, Nature, Ralph Waldo Emerson emphasized the importance of our relationship to the land. He stated that there is a common spirit that resides in and connects all living things, which he called the “Over-Soul.” The examination of this connection would lead to the essential truths of one’s existence. Hallowed Ground explores these transcendentalist themes, specifically the innate spirituality and purity within nature and one’s connection to it.
These images were photographed with 4×5 black and white film then painted digitally to illustrate the “Over-Soul” that connects man to the land. This process is also used to depict surreal, dream-like environments that emphasize the romantic and idealistic qualities of the landscape and question the audience’s perception of reality. Though this work reflects the artist’s personal beliefs regarding the importance and the sacred nature of the land, the ultimate purpose of these idealistic depictions is to encourage appreciation and respect for the earth – to provoke the audience to reflect on their personal relationship with nature.
To view more of Allison Jarek’s work please visit her website.