Research/Enquiry- Fantasy Conceptual Journeys – Alicia Savage and Joel Robison

Alicia Savage

American fine art photographer Alicia Savage is a practitioner who explores identity through self portraiture in which she creates images with a fantasy like style.  Her work often places the individual (herself) within the space in which the landscape is deformed in some way that defies reality.  Savage explores the personal journey and interprets the space with how the individual sees it; hinting onwards concepts that focus on past and present.  Her on going series ‘Destinations’ explores how one travels alone and the subconscious mind during the experience.  Savage similarly does not reveal her identity as the leading role so as to bring open perception form the audience.  I admire how Savage does this as she allows the viewer to use their own imagination with how they see the individual; she often uses props or her own hair to hide her face or alternatively faces away from the viewer.  There is also use of very simple body language in how she poses herself and uses her surroundings to make tender gestures in an engaging way.

I find this inspiring towards my own work as Savage addresses the idea of approaching the subject as one’s self in which the viewer can envision themselves in the image.  I find this an interesting take on narrative as the audience can relate their own experiences to the visuals.

Joel Robison

Joel Robison is another practitioner who I find particularly unusual.  Robison also creates surreal imagery that is reflective of the individual’s self journey. Based in British Columbia, Robison gathers influence from iconic practitioners from the likes of Disney and other other fantasy related practitioners in which he brings interest in the emotional aspect of narrative in which he considers dreams, thoughts and experience as an input within his work.  Robison is quite ambiguous in how he portrays character and is experimental with proportions of the subject.  For example, in various works, Robison plays with size, creating the illusion of the individual appearing smaller when exploring the world as an enlarged version. On occasion, he also merges the individual with the surroundings which distinguishes further a sense of surrealism as a major element.

I admire how Robison brings an interactive element to his imagery and uses a variety of objects as supporting components to emphasise how the individual travels through their surroundings or even becomes a part of the environment.

I find both photographers possess qualities where they ‘think outside the box’ and portray realistic environments as ways of escaping and embracing one’s inner self.  This is something which I find intriguing as Robison applies illusional elements that almost tricks the audience into understanding what is real and what is not.



Joel Robison All rights Reserved (2015) Joel Robison Photography [Online] Available from:, (Accessed 30/12/2015)

Alicia Savage (2015) Alicia Savage [Online] Available from: (Accessed 23/12/2015)



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