Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
This series of photographs serves as an expression of my personal search and longing for a sense of at homeness in varied garden landscapes across the United States. My interest in photographing gardens is derived from personal history in family gardens and grew in my frequent visits to the South Carolina Botanical Garden. The Botanical Garden was central in my life during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it was there that I found an interest in how a shared public space could offer us a place for privacy and reflection. My photographs bear witness to the spaces and moments in gardens that cultivate these experiences.
The photographs trace the journey I began in Clemson, and the route I traveled as I sought out garden landscapes in major cities and rural areas across the country. These photographs represent iconic and overlooked spaces, and seemingly permanent and ephemeral moments that evoke a sense of longing and search for at homeness in public green spaces. My photographs are personal and expressive, and I use beauty through color and form to captivate and induce reverie. I use photography to magnify and create tensions within and across spaces, and to both preserve a moment or space and to express the feeling of a moment or space. While focusing on my own specific story and perception of being at home in a public space, I am also inviting others to rethink the role of gardens in their own life, including how they see, live, and move through these spaces. By fostering further questioning and awareness through my photographs, we may increase our concern and care for our precious green spaces, both cultivated and wild.
Wells, Aviana, "At Home in the Garden" (2022). All Theses. 3714.