Saving Faces - 2019 to 2022
In Saving Faces, Ariella Gibson delves into the complexities of Chinese culture from an American expat’s perspective. Through her time living in Nanjing during the pandemic, she experienced the profound contrast between collectivism and individualism in the country and reflects on her unique relationship with it.
The series explores the dichotomy between the decisions made by the masculine-controlled government and the everyday lives of its citizens. As the pandemic brought global attention to China, Gibson offers a firsthand perspective that challenges the misunderstandings and racist narratives presented by western media.
With her outsider’s viewpoint, Gibson celebrates the differences between China and the West while also emphasizing their similarities. She invites viewers to consider the emotional impact of the pandemic, the isolation and fear felt by both sides, and the idea that even on opposite sides of the world, people are more alike than often recognized.
Pleasure Me This - 2015 to 2019
“Pleasure Me This” is a series of photographs exploring my love of looking at what I’m not supposed to. I find beauty in tragedy and often use photography as a coping mechanism and way of processing trauma. The series celebrates resilience, strength, and our ability to survive in the face of adversity. By breaking social norms and limitations by photographing morbid, unseemly, sexual, or unladylike subjects, I want viewers to embrace their true nature, confront the duality of their desires, and unapologetically indulge in the pleasure of looking.
Killed In Cartagena - Summer 2015
Killed in Cartagena is a series of photos that explore the themes of grief and catharsis through the lens of a woman who has lost her father to suicide. The artist, Ariella Gibson, embarks on a journey to the city of Cartagena, Colombia, where her father took his own life by hanging himself, to confront her grief and process her emotions. By visiting the place where her father died, staying at the same hotel, and visiting his grave, Gibson transforms her personal tragedy into a source of healing and release.
This project delves into the complex and intense emotions that come with the loss of a loved one, particularly when it is a result of suicide. Through Gibson’s lens, the city of Cartagena takes on a haunting and powerful presence, reflecting the various stages of grief she experiences. Ultimately the project also showcases the beauty of Cartagena and highlights love and loss.
It offers a poignant examination of grief, memory, and the transformative impact of loss on one’s life and worldview. The series serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of acknowledging and processing grief, and the way in which it shapes our understanding of the world around us. By creating this project, Gibson has transformed her personal tragedy into a source of healing and release, providing a powerful testament to the transformative power of art.