Darcy Haylor is the 22-year-old transatlantic photographer whose images explore the world that occupies the space between daydreams and candid moments. Born in London, she moved to New York as a child and currently studies at CalArts in Los Angeles, where the city’s surreal landscapes and dreamy backdrops continue to encourage her chosen creative outlet.
After inheriting one of her father’s old cameras at a young age, the pursuit of documenting her life in the form of a visual journal began. The subjects within her work are muses, family and friends, people with whom she shares a mutual trust and special bond that effortlessly help her capture ephemeral yet timeless moments. For Darcy, photography is the medium she feels to be, “between film making and painting, except in this instance you’re painting with light. It’s a process where you’re hands-on and in control from start to finish, free to develop your own vision."
A passion rooted in her love of cinema and filmmaking, she counts Gaspar Noe’s unapologetic and fearless approach a constant inspiration, as well as the works of Czech director Vera Chytilová and Charkovsky. Along with Corrine Day and Paolo Roversi, Nan Goldin and polaroid photographer Sarah Moon are favourites, whose images, like hers, “let things fall into place, pictures that have both a story and theme behind them, always full of energy in fast environments. Beauty that can be found in the mundane, in the eye of the observer, both subjective and amazing.”
Combining inspiration she finds in both cinema and images that create narrative, her work illustrates truthful moments between people, stories, and youth; the eternal flame of which dances brightly throughout. A definite motive in her images, youth is distinguished in the bright, bold and often blurred colours to create a defining aesthetic. The best part of being young for Darcy is freedom, and “the idea of not having a consistent routine or regime, breaking moulds and boundaries. It’s a shame when youth is rejected or understated, because a young mind is very special. We have this ability to be rebellious and look at the world differently."
Having recently discovered she has synesthesia has added a new element to the sensual side of her practice. Drumbeats come alive in magenta; certain bands evoke red or orange or blue. “I worked on the cover of a friend’s album recently and it just felt so pink. So we made it pink.” A delicate spectrum of purple, green and blue often features in her images – her favourite colours. After recently reading Goethe’s Psychology of Colour and Emotion she learned that purple resembles the imaginative and the unnecessary. As for the other two: “Blue is powerful, it’s soft and melancholic. I’m a really big fan of the filmmaker Gregg Araki who uses a lot of ultraviolet blue in his work which evokes a sad beauty. Green has a power and energy to it, it’s a special colour because it’s one with the most shades in the spectrum.”
Plans for the future include a piece that incorporates visuals, sounds and perfume: “I’m a secret perfume addict. Either I make a sound that inspires a smell or vice versa and a visual to accompany it to tie it all together. Smell to me really affects my mood and environment, I’m very sensitive to it. It makes us often think about passion, desire, love and nostalgia as well. When I think about places I’ve been to, I’m reminded about how they have a smell. Like Tribeca in Lower Manhattan smells of pepper, New York has a violet or musky smell. And the scent of pine evokes my home in England."