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Eva O'Leary's Photos of Unnatural Nature

"I'm interested in the construction of what is natural," she says, "and in the punishment of everything that isn't."

This article appears in the May Issue of VICE Magazine.

Eva O'Leary is a photographer currently pursuing her MFA at Yale. She grew up between Ireland and a town in rural Pennsylvania nicknamed Happy Valley. This cultural divide made her acutely aware of the ways identities and experience are constructed: Twice a year, O'Leary would have to assimilate to her new surroundings, changing her accent, her clothing, and her whole conception of normalcy, which resulted in a feeling that she was never Irish enough or American enough. "I've been thinking a lot recently about the word nature," O'Leary told VICE. "Not the environmental definition but the other one—nature as one's standard mode of existing.

"I'm interested in the construction of what is natural," she said, "and in the punishment of everything that isn't—mostly how this functions as a method of control."

See more of Eva's work on her website.