Kelia Anne MacCluskey
Meet the stateside photographer creating nostalgic, sun-kissed images
As a photographer right at the start of her career, Kelia’s passion is clear: “I have an immeasurable desire to illustrate my youth: weekends, lovers, ex-lovers, and a glamorised idea of the pain and glory that comes along with remembering.” As a result, Kelia makes images through a lens of romanticised nostalgia and injects a youthful innocence into ‘the overlooked-and-short-lived’. However, this innocence is almost cheeky; Kelia’s tenacity to blur, knowingly, the boundaries of romance and reality, imbues a photographic exuberance throughout her work.
This approach flows into an itinerant lifestyle, too, which brings the transience she captures so compellingly into focus. Ultimately, she tells us that she utilises heartbreak since “an end to something lovely always provides the most feeling. It’s the most heavy, beautiful, and raw stuff to draw from.”
Drawing on, then, moments which are often overlooked photographically, Kelia’s creations are, in her own words, an homage to the “Democratic Forest” by William Eggleston. His mastery of color photography is evidently a strong influence throughout many of Kelia’s pictures, and they are all the better for having such a strong theoretical basis.
Building on the skills she is currently honing at the Savannah College of Art & Design, we’re chuffed to hear Kelia, in a recent London-based internship at Hill & Aubrey, had an overwhelmingly positive experience. A recent project drawing on her infatuation with nostalgia and this experience in the UK looked to translate the selective process our memory uses into photographs. Kelia realised the varying clarity of our memories using digital post-production, and the novel results make up the series The Contest of Meaning, some of which are featured below.