Sandy Carson and Emma Whelan each emigrated from their respective home countries after spending the first halves of their lives overseas. Yet, By No Means addresses the perspectives of these two immigrants. Carson and Whelan individually explore physical and psychological boundaries, overlapping interpretations of a belonging to and sense of separation from their pasts. Together, their photographs set perceptions of their new environment against previous and fleeting notions of familiarity.
Carson’s photographs spring from his fascination with everyday occurrences in the social landscape. His images traverse the spaces between clarity and imperfection. Composing his own interpretation of America, Carson presents a subjective documentation of road trip culture. Through his use of bright and saturated colors, he balances spectacle with personal intimacy, transforming the mundane into something beautiful. His photographs position the viewer within a unique and often humorous place in American culture.
Whelan’s photographs drift between nostalgia and alienation. In processing the congruent dualities of the insider/outsider, Whelan interweaves memory, identity, longing, and belonging. The presence of the photographer is subtly revealed in distant, sometimes intimate portrayals of momentary circumstance. Significant environments and experiences merge within the imagery. In their grouping, the specificity of these locations is made irrelevant. Blurring distinctions between reality and perception, the landscapes blend into a single place or dreamscape—a new ambiguous territory—becoming everywhere and nowhere at once.
Generous support for Center Space Project comes from the University Co-Op along with Robin and Trey Hancock.
Frames built locally by Olin Roth of Arp Woodworking.
Sandy Carson (born 1972) is a photographer raised in Scotland and now based in Austin. He immigrated to the United States after he received his HND in Communications from The University Of The West Of Scotland.
Emma Whelan (born 1988) was raised in Tullinge, Sweden spending her upbringing transitionally between Sweden, Ireland, and the United States. Currently based in Austin, she graduated with a BFA in Design, as well as a BA in Studio Art from The University of Texas.