08 February 2021

Imagery of a Profoundly Emotional Landscape

08 February 2021 - Written by PhMuseum

Having self-confessedly spent a decade of her life drifting, Alana Celii uses her camera to capture images rooted in memories that together explore the feeling of being lost within such a physical and emotional framework.

Did I actually reach out my arms
toward it, toward paradise falling, like
the fading of the dearest, wildest hope —
the dark heart of the story that is all
the reason for its telling?

Mary Oliver from “The Chance to Love Everything”

By observing and making imagery of the natural world around me, I have become a collector - I am gathering together images whose subjects are often scattered or widespread. Like Jazz, these images exist through improvisation, syncopation, and rhythm. Their meaning is developed through their own fluidity and abstraction. But also, this imagery is rooted in memory and my desire for the past to go away. Through organisation and curation, I am able to redefine meaning and time.

The images, published as a monograph, are paired with vignettes of writing that explore the loss of a relationship, the loss of what home means, and the feeling of being unmoored. I spent the last ten years of my life drifting, and this series is an exploration of feeling lost within that physical and emotional landscape. The figures in the book are representative of metaphors that look at astrology, myth, and symbolism whereas the vignettes offer a diaristic and more literal interpretation of the imagery.

Words and Pictures by Alana Celii.


Alana Celii is a photo editor and photographer based in New York. She graduated with her BFA in photography from Parsons the New School for Design. Currently, she is a photo editor at The New York Times where she covers the technology beat on the business desk. Prior to her work at The Times, she was a photo editor at The Wall Street Journal and TIME. Her personal work has been exhibited in the US, and abroad. Most recently, she completed a residency at Vermont Studio Center and NES in Iceland. Her first monograph, Paradise Falling, was published in the Spring of 2020. Find her on PHmuseum and Instagram.


This feature is part of Story of the Week, a selection of relevant projects from our community handpicked by the PHmuseum curators.

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