Illusion of Memory

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Illusion of Memory

Gailan Sabin Gray


Photography is a tool to document reality and a way to preserve the ephemeral. This was the catalyst for my idea: to preserve a moment that can withstand time itself. My work often involves personal mythology—a sense of sacredness inspired by memories. I refer to the idea of a circle in pagan ritual, casting out evil from its center—creating a never-ending protective loop. This notion of sacred memory is what moved me to create a shrine to honor what has passed.

I spent a lot of my time in the place of my childhood, a home that no longer exists as I remember it. I brought earth from that place as a part of my installation burying a memory underneath to protect it from being altered by the flow of time. The circles are made of branches, and then adorned with nostalgic objects; tchotchkes that are only valuable to those who collect them. Growing up within the land I have also had a respect for the earth and see it as a source of spiritual presence. When nostalgia hits, I often am filled with memories that involve places I am spiritually connect to.

Yet, nostalgia is a dangerous weapon that we hold in our arsenal. It can prevent us from moving forward in time, keep us captivated in the past, and tie us to a collection of intimate, eternal recordings.

This is my ode to the moments that we wish would never end.







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