Gillian Iles
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Body of work: We found ourselves within a dark forest

We found ourselves within a dark forest  
We found ourselves within a dark forest is the moment between awareness and inception, attraction and desire, desire and repulsion, impulse and implication, idea and plan, thought and action, action and consequence, goal and obstacle, obstacle and outcome. What is portrayed in this installation is the infinite potential within those moments, specifically within the context of the potential of the next generation in their consideration of what came before and what they want, or allow, to come next. The inevitability of change as an innate inclination of all systems is imagined as a potential suspended moment the figures are enveloped in a forest made up of a myriad of ideals, options, risks and rewards. The potential is present in this moment of choice, challenge and change by the next generation - their intentions complex, conflicted and indecipherable - the obstacles quietly waiting and the outcome as of yet undefined. The series portrays the primal inclination for generational shifts and challenges to accepted ideals, as well as the establishment's prerogative to remain intact and in place.

We found ourselves within a dark forest combines 2-D imagery, video, and projection, staggered and clustered through the gallery space creating a 3-D installation incorporating both real and illusionary space. The individual elements are freestanding or hanging in the space, creating an environment of shifting illusions for the viewer to walk through akin to a forest of trees. Content initially hidden from view reveals itself as the viewer's progression shifts through the installation, causing shifts in interpretation - primary and secondary narratives overlap creating multiple narratives that are intentionally discordant, but not unrelated, and serve to directly influence and redirect each other's interpretation. That fusion reveals the precarious existence and intention of ideals and the conflicted nature of responses to them. Partially obscured identities, the ubiquitous hoodie and selectively cropped views perpetuate the vagary of intention by the burgeoning generation. The fragile persistence of a system or order and inevitability of change is imagined through the presentation - the imagery has a convincing reality from one point of view, but as the viewer walks past elements this reality from the back is revealed to be a constructed veneer of theatrical illusion and fabrication. The viewer ultimately determines their willingness to let the illusion persist as their reality or challenge and dismiss it as a house of cards built by those who came before.



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