Strangers in a van

by Sarah Gill

Stranger in a Van is an ongoing series that embodies the photographer as an isolated persona, one whose uneasy communication with the surrounding environment brings about a potential for alienation. Here, the relationship between camera and subject provides a reflection for the many ways we connect, or fail to connect, with our immediate surroundings, the natural world, and each other, in a technological society that can seem increasingly abstract and detached. The camera’s intimacy acts as a precursor to flattening and disconnect, a living moment transformed into a reverential object. These photographs also serve as fragments within a larger personal narrative, an archive that documents the author’s struggle with isolation, depression, and attempts to construct cohesion and meaning throughout shifting and unstable environments. The results are a series of remote and apocalyptic landscapes, detached and broken bodies, and a handful of failed attempts: to forge lasting relationships, dissolve personal boundaries, and to preserve moments of intimacy.