Melanie Allan is an artist living in Pittsburgh, PA. Her work explores themes of childhood, mental health, and human experience. Photography serves as a productive outlet for her thoughts and emotions. Projecting these feelings into her images allows for them to be properly analyzed and dissected. Her images serve as visual evidence of an ongoing attempt to better understand herself and those surrounding her.
“Passenger Seat” is an autobiographical exploration of memories from my childhood in order to heal and outgrow the fixation I’ve had on this time in my life. I revisit places and my personal archive, a process that puts my younger, perhaps misplaced, judgments into a new, mature context. Placing them within the photographic frame allows me to examine and reflect upon relationships with members of my family, as well as with myself. I am an adult without a driver’s license, and I depend on my family for transportation. Exploring this past brings me to reflect upon the separation of my parents and the passing of my grandma. Looking back at these events also compels me to inspect the actions made in consequence of these events, both by myself and others, and how these choices have continued to influence me as an adult. Handwritten text accompanies some of the images, acting as a second outlet for me to further organize and associate my imagery with specific thoughts.
As this series has grown, I’ve deeply examined myself in order to completely heal what has been ignored. I make these images for myself; the act of photographing has proven to be a therapeutic, productive way to deal with my sentiments. I no longer wish to think ill of myself for feeling anger and regret towards past actions. My family no longer feels disconnected, but this development does not invalidate what I once felt, and at times, continue to feel. People change just as the landscape does, an indication that it is time to retire my role as a passenger.
To view more of Melanie Allan’s work please visit her website.