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Shaun Pierson’s fragments of memory between beauty and intimacy

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Shaun Pierson is an American photographer living and working in New York City. He attended Rowan University, where he recently received his BA in Radio/Television/Film in May. While studying at university, Shaun began to explore photography as a tool to excavate the recesses of his childhood. In an effort to further understand his recurring feelings of nostalgic yearning, Shaun began to loosely recreate childhood memories by utilizing immediate family members as well as locations from his youth to create his first photo series, the autobiographical fantasy “Alvine Road”. 

About ‘Alvine road’:

I remember laying my head on my grandfather’s lap after he had pulled a splinter out of my heel. I remember tracing my mother’s back with race cars after making her cry, guiltily attempting to console her. I remember the many beginnings and ends of relationships, both personal and peripheral, of people drifting in and out of my life. Some returned and some I never saw again. More than anything, however, I remember a childhood fraught with violence, beauty, and intimacy, a period in which the concept of time proved irrelevant and the smallest moments seemed to last forever. 

By interspersing dramatic environmental portraiture with its classic twin, my work looks at the individual in relation to their surroundings and questions the impact that these seemingly innocuous upbringings have on youth as they progress into adulthood. How large of an impact does learned behavior have on who we become? How much control do we have over our lives and what is already programmed into us? 

Drawing from fragmented pieces of my own memory, as well as imagined scenarios, these photographs explore the tumultuous nature of childhood and fulfill a nostalgic yearning for a time long past. Through this work, I revisit the half-remembered memories from my childhood in an attempt to further understand myself, resulting in images that touch on subtopics such as childhood trauma, adolescent intimacy, and the disintegration of relationships.

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Time to read
4 min
Words by
Staff
Published on
2 July 2019
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