The Artist's Statement
My practice grew from my personal experience of intense, chronic pain, and the subsequent paths I travelled to find the inner strength within myself. My work focuses on the experience of inner silence, of emptiness.
From the very beginning of my art practice, I have been seeking a way to capture the presence of consciousness, intention and its history embedded in space. In my experience, certain places hold greater presence compared to others. Each experience is unique. It can be unanticipated, instantaneous, enthralling, as well as heart-stopping, and painful. What is it that contributes to creating these different experiences, different (inner) dialogues, and different awarenesses? Is it possible that space holds consciousness that is not isolated from its history, current events, and its intention; and that these affect the physical qualities of the space? Maybe even to the degree that when we enter the space, we physically and emotionally feel the difference? How to capture my experience in certain places is an ongoing quest that I am still working on.
This photograph is taken in an apartment situated in Paris, where one of France's best-known literary figures, Victor Hugo, had lived for over a decade. It now functions as a museum and contains furniture and objects used by the author with the interior decoration close to the time of his séjour. In this photograph, I capture the moment where I experienced the presence of awareness most strongly.
Dana Y’Sol holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), where she was a Presidential Scholarship recipient. She is currently studying Photography at the Royal College of Art, London. She works primarily in photography, video, sound, and drawings.
Dana has participated in numerous group exhibitions in the USA. Her recent two-person show was held at St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, and she received the Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal USA Presidential Award in 2014. This coming summer, she will be participating in a month-long residency program in Finland.
In 2007, after a year of recovery from unidentifiable pain that had put her in a wheelchair, Dana became deeply immersed in Eastern Philosophy. Since then, she has traveled extensively; not to be involved in the world but to search within herself. She went on pilgrimages, visited cathedrals, monasteries, and temples, took classes in different disciplines, and went on silent retreats. These experiences opened her awareness to one's own inner silence, a presence of both material and immaterial light, and subtle qualities of space. The path to becoming an artist naturally unfolded after these periods of intense internal inquiry.