Past Exhibitions > Garielle Gowans, Windows and Hannah's World

Windows (2021-) is a series of staged scenes that magnify encounters with boundaries and introspection in the context of space. Heavily inspired by the work of Tommy Kha, who once described his self-portraits as “windows,” I see the images in this series as semi-autobiographical scenes of negotiations with place and environment. Throughout the series, circles, borders, thresholds, and actual windows are paired with scenes of entropic belongings, visually exploring feelings of out-of-placeness and the task and creativity of making sense of it. Through these fictional non-sequiturs, my friends and I sit, lay, and dance around boundaries and what’s in between.

I have been photographing my sister Hannah since 2020. Hannah’s World is a series of images about the people, characters, and places that are significant to her. The series has served as a way for both of us to visualize our relationship to one another and think through the complexities of non-biological kinship ties. One photograph from this series is included on the right short wall of the exhibition.

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Many, many thanks…

In addition to being an attempt at a conceptual photo project, I like to think of Windows as small forms of collaboration and communication that should be approached with great care. I am eternally grateful to all of the friends who I have gotten to make through this project. Thank you, thank you, thank you for letting me photograph you!

In a similar way, Hannah’s World takes a collaborative approach. Thank you, Hannah, for showing me your world and letting me share it with other people.

I would also like to thank Professor Joe Lawton, Professor Stephen Sohn, and Professor Caitlin Meehye Beach for their respective classes and insight, which introduced me to forms of practice, history, concepts, critiques, artists, and words of encouragement that I have personally used as inspiration and critique for much of the work in Windows and Hannah’s World.

Thank you, Afrida and Nadine, for being the most amazing friend-editors. Both of you have a way with words… and of course, images.

And thank you Sammy’s Photo Lab on 27 Essex for doing the invaluable work of scanning all of the negatives / images you see on this wall. | @gabrielleehoffman