Of Other Lands

Hailey VanElslander

See it On Campus: Level 2

Visitor Info

This series Of Other Lands asks what does home feel like. Through personal experience and memory, a complex network of themes surrounding home and family such as identity, belonging, loss, and joy are all explored. Set in the Manitoba towns I grew up in, and titled after the meaning of my family name, these images share intimate moments of reflection to answer that question, from my understanding. 

At its core, Of Other Lands is made of pieces of my memories of home and growing up. Images of representational objects, place-based images, portraits of family, and family archives, are utilized to present an intricate embodiment of memories. I also employ these photographic subjects to tenderly show intergenerational connections between myself and both my mother’s and father’s sides with an aura of both emotional depth and humour. Despite the deeply personal nature of working with memory, the aim of this project is to be empathetic and open-ended enough to both invite viewers into a felt sense of these intimate moments and encourage reflections on their own experiences of home.

As a completed project, Of Other Lands is designed into a photo book which consists of 50 images in total.

From the Archive

Tea Cup (2021), Archival inkjet print, 18×24 in
Hockey Net (2021), Archival inkjet print, 18×24 in.

An excerpt of text from Of Other Lands

I wanted to show them what it felt like to be home, but the home I wanted to show doesn’t exist anymore. It was your home, the one that washed away in a storm neither of us got to see. The family you knew and the one I remembered don’t look the same. They’ve grown up and apart. They’ve gone on to other places and morphed into shapes I don’t quite recognize. I don’t think you would recognize them all either. I looked for pieces of home I could recall. The moments that exist somewhere between here and there, memory and dreams. The pieces that live rooted inside my body as both lived and inherited experiences. I wanted to show them that. Maybe I thought you could help me find it. I’d like to be able to ask you where you felt like you belonged. I don’t know if you ever found it, but I like to think that you might have there, on the lake. 

Quiet Moments

Summer Nap (2021), Archival inkjet print, 18×24 in.

Hailey VanElslander

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Hailey is a visual artist from Treaty 1 territory in Manitoba, currently based in Vancouver. Working primarily in photography on projects that deal with a variety of themes explored through careful consideration and personal reflection. Most recently, themes around memory, belonging, introspection, and especially the emotional impacts of place.

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