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Kyra Williamson

Drowning no. 3
Photography& digital painting

This series of six photographs titled Drowning, is a prequel to my Floating series from 2021. I wanted to illustrate ideas surrounding the contemplation of death, the veil between the dead and the living, and heaven beyond. I chose to combine my painting abilities with digital photography to give these photographs a painterly quality. I chose to incorporate fabric into this piece to represent entanglement and contemplation with the veil of the living and the dead. Flowers are intertwined with themes from my previous work, Flowers for the Past [Passed], and symbolize my grandparents who have passed on.


The hazy dreamlike quality of the photographs are representative of the fogginess of the mind and being in a trance-like state; these are qualities which I associate with drowning. Historically I think art often romanticizes death through picturesque imagery, which is a juxtaposition I wanted to represent in my final work. I believe that a lot of my recent work has played with this idea - juxtaposing aesthetic imagery with darker underlying themes. By using these opposing forces, I wanted to create a kind of counterweight to an argument which I find present throughout the art world, that aestheticism is shallow.


Previously I stated that I believe the “creation of art is a kind of healing and discovery process pertaining to one’s self; therefore the expression of art allows the self to process emotions which have been stuck in the subconscious, bringing them into the physical world.” I wanted my last project to revisit the beginning of my emotional journey that started with a sense of drowning, thus symbolically bringing a close to this chapter of my life.

Kyra Williamson is a photographer and painter from Toronto Ontario. She was born in Hangzhou China, and was adopted at 10 months old to parents in Canada. Because of this, her body of work reflects her unique experience understanding cultural identity/ heritage. She works in analogue and digital photography, and combines her background in painting, photography, and anthropology to create visual narratives about her life.

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