Audrey Gillespie

‘This hurts’

by: Ainsley Hutchence

7 photographs.
Photographer: Audrey Gillespie
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Audrey Gillespie ‘This hurts’

With her debut feature, Irish fine artist Audrey Gillespie explores obsession, release & fantasy.

“My work runs in circles, building patterns, constructing itself into a wormhole of questions. Questions that ease me & questions that haunt me. Photography acts as a social space & a form of later isolation. Ritualistic, I build comfort with this routine. Night & darkness feature prominently in both my photography, it’s a space & time cherished from young memories. Vulnerability & fragility expose themselves throughout the work, in the form of subtext & saturation.

Everything I do, I do out of fear. Just as we all do, every day. I fear age & I panic to immortalise my peers, my relationships & my current youth at this hyper-conscious point of my life. I fear isolation, I fear not living a good enough life, I fear the guilt I’ll feel if I do live the fullest life because some don’t have that fortune. I fear I’m driving myself to madness. I fear I’d never really know life at all if I wasn’t mad. I fear it’s all happening too quickly. I fear it can’t happen quick enough. I fear I’ll never be able to make a real decision ever again. Though I know I do, even now.

I’m trying to understand why I desire to live through other things; masquerading myself as them through my photographs, bleeding my persona into theirs as they do onto mine. I’ve spent so long trying to be one step ahead of the person that I thought I was always going to finally become & with that I fear I’ll spend a life time trying to become something else that I’ll never have gotten to know myself. I fear that my art is just an unhealthy obsession put in place in for me to exploit my bad habits. As a young woman the tendency to obsess has been cemented into my being since I even consciously knew how to obsess at all.

I try & snatch fleeting moments before they’re gone, clinging to whatever brings me release. I filter my anxiety into power, power that builds the foundation that makes me make art, which could be called a catharsis. I fixate my anxiety-ridden dreams & overwhelming memories creating colour-saturated objects & tender moments splayed out for me to remember, to acknowledge & accept.

I document queer youth through my interactions, stumbling around on this island in Northern Ireland. Driven by a hazy aesthetic I invite the viewer to submerge into a world of my bleared emotions. Using lo-fi techniques to create an unpolished form with 35mm format photography and camcorders, colours glaze over dark backdrops and I immerse into a self-constructed personalised fantasy.”

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