Gillian Alexandra Kalisky Valley

Valley is my final project from my PG Cert degree at Central Saint Martins. It is a series of photographs taken during a very personal journey through the fields and towns of my youth, accompanied by my father and using a medium-format film camera.
It took years of living away from it for me to start longing for the simplicity of the Central Valley. The expansive open fields are dotted with architectural Americana. This area is a surviving testament to America’s golden age. When I go there now I see some of these beautiful things replaced by soulless redevelopment. A lot is still there – old but intact. I seek to preserve in imagery the under-photographed and often overlooked heartland of California.
As a society, we find ourselves on the verge of a massive change in culture. Everything is becoming more uniform, globalized, and digitized. Everywhere I go I feel a loss of individuality and bespoke craftsmanship. Nowhere is this loss more significant to me than where I grew up. Not just homage to this lovely and fleeting landscape, I consider Valley also to be a tribute to the traditional color photographic process- the process used by my heroes Shore and Eggleston. The series is captured entirely on film and the prints are made by hand. No digital technology is employed. Haunted House is the “hero” image of the series in a way. This boarded up and abandoned Victorian farmhouse sits alone in a field near the tiny town of Esparto in Yolo County. It is a reminder of those who came to the area in the late 19th century to reap the benefits of the rich land and were integral in the formation of the most beautiful Golden State.

All images © courtesy of Gillian Alexandra Kalisky

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