The Trailhead by Allison Jarek

Archival Pigment Print, 2014

11’’ x 14’’

Edition of 20, signed and numbered

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Hallowed Ground

This series explores themes related to transcendentalist philosophy and literature, specifically the innate spirituality and purity within nature. In the essay, Nature, Ralph Waldo Emerson emphasized the importance of man’s relationship to the land. He stated that there is a common spirit that resides in and connects all living things, which he called the “Over-Soul.” The examination of this connection would lead to the essential truths of one’s existence.

These images were photographed with 4×5 black and white film and painted digitally to illustrate the “Over-Soul” that connects man to the land. This process is also used to emphasize the romantic and idealistic qualities of the landscape to encourage the appreciation and respect of the audience. The resulting images depict surreal, dream-like environments that reflect these themes and question the audience’s perception of reality.

Though this work reflects my personal beliefs regarding the importance and the sacred nature of the land, the ultimate purpose of these idealistic depictions is to encourage appreciation and respect for the earth and to provoke the audience to reflect on their own personal relationship with nature.—Allison Jarek



Allison Jarek (b. 1989, Reno, NV) is an American photographer whose work explores themes such as man’s relationship with nature, female identity, and personal journeys. She received her MFA in Photography from Texas Woman’s University in the spring of 2015 and her BFA in Photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2011. Her work has been shown nationally, at venues such as PhotoPlace Gallery, New Orleans Photo Alliance, Clemson University, the University of Central Florida, and 500X Gallery, and featured in online and print publications such as SHOTS Magazine, South x Southeast Photomagazine, and Plates-to-Pixels. She currently lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia.


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