Curiouser and Curiouser by Jess Nelson

Curiouser and Curiouser by Jess Nelson

"How would you feel if elements of your dreams were brought into your waking reality?"

This question underpins my series Curiouser and Curiouser, completed as part of my Bachelor of Arts and Media, inspired by the Alice in Wonderland story.

I love Lewis Carroll’s exploration of Wonderland, and wanted to see if I could reference that through photography. 

Curiouser and Curiouser photo of NMIT student and Artist Jess Nelson
Curiouser and Curiouser series - Jess Nelson

The main challenge was to find a theoretical basis that worked with my ideas. I explored the principles, ideals and practice of Surrealism and eventually chose Sigmund Freud’s writings on the human psyche and the unconscious mind as the main theory for my work. 

Curiouser and Curiouser photo of NMIT student and Artist Jess Nelson
Curiouser and Curiouser series - Jess Nelson

Another challenge was finding models that were available for an ongoing project, hence I ended up using myself for the series.

The photographs aimed to give a visual representation of what the slipping of unconscious thoughts into a waking reality could look and feel like.

Curiouser and Curiouser photo of NMIT student and Artist Jess Nelson
Curiouser and Curiouser series - Jess Nelson

Everything was done digitally up until the final prints. I worked carefully with natural lighting as I was shooting in a forest.

The most common feeling people have about the series is its absurdity - there is a strangeness to the work. I find the photographs have an eerie and dark feel to them, it makes me feel slightly unsettled, and I like that.”

Curiouser and Curiouser photo of NMIT student and Artist Jess Nelson
Curiouser and Curiouser series - Jess Nelson
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Pendant lamp by Florence Berthold

Find out more about starting your career in the Photography in the Bachelor of Arts and Media, or New Zealand Diploma in Arts and Design at NMIT.

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