Shadow 3, 1997, Silve Print ed 6/40

Kimberly Gremillion

Shadow Vision

The circus offers a diverse source of imagery, a microcosm of life, dark both intellectually and emotionally. My work is poised between darkness and light, sleeping and waking, the unconscious and the conscious. I deal with creation myths, heroic journeys, and symbols of personal transformation. As metaphors of human feelings, my photographs exploit the effects of cast shadows and movement revealing an unseen world.

Shadows are an absence of presence. They represent an imaginary vision requiring the viewer to supply the information. Excitement and mystery are created in the manipulation of these fragments. Some of my images include both the figure and its shadow. On a symbolic level, the shadow represents the personal unconscious. Many of the shadows are powerful archetypes – universal symbols – that are mysterious and charged with intense energy.

Surrealist art theory has influenced me over the years. Capturing the essence of the visual moment reveals what I suspect might be there but isn’t necessarily seen. I am attracted by the inherent strangeness of reality and seek to evoke that strangeness visually by fragmenting the whole. This unorthodox way of seeing allows me to tap the powers of the unconscious and access meanings hidden within reality. I want my images to be dangerous yet beautiful.


Kimberly Gremillion, born in Chicago, currently resides in Houston, Texas. She has had solo exhibitions at the Print Center in Philadelphia, the Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, Galveston Arts Center, and at the Wortham Center in Houston. Cultural Industries in London is traveling an exhibition of her photographs world-wide with their production of Shockheaded Peter. Her images are represented in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the William Benton Museum of Art in Connecticut. She is working on a book of circus and theatre images that will be published in spring 2001. Previously her prints have appeared on the pages of Aperture, Photo Review, PHOTOGRAPHY Quarterly, Photo Metro, and the New Orleans Art Review.