I first met Smith Eliot when I curated her work into Photo+Construct, a group exhibition of mixed-media and sculptural photography way back in 2007. Over the years I have admired her ability to tell a story with photographs and found materials. Her book-like constructions contain narratives that are deep, soulful, sensual, often focused on dark, melancholic and personal refections of life, death, and everything in between. Finally, I’ve decided to carry her work in inventory and I think you will find it as compelling as I do.
Smith tells us:
A movable book, which invites the viewer to move the faces across the closet bar.
Smith tells us, “When I was a teenager, I bought a bunch of fashion magazines looking for a self that I could wear. Like, if I applied the makeup and donned the wardrobe my personality would magically follow suit, transforming me into the kind of person who looks like “that.”
Then, at 30, someone in AA told me that one of the ways to get clean and sober was to “fake it til I make it.” As though I could act my way into being a right person. A bit later in life another well-intentioned person (or 2, or 3) told me I could choose my emotions and that -just by saying so- I could decide to be happy. POOF!
I am approaching 60 now and have so far found that all of this is bullshit. Although it is true that I may not always be in touch with myself, so what? The trick, I believe, doesn’t reside in pretending that the sky is green, or that assholes smell like azaleas, but in letting go of the need to have answers to life’s unsolvable riddles.”
|Place of Publication||Portland, OR|
|Number of Images/ Illustrations||11 original photographs|
|Book Structure/ Binding Method||Wooden box with two hand-made piano hinges|
|Medium/ Materials||Dress pattern pieces, measuring tape, skewers, paper clay, photos|
|Dimensions (WxH) or (WxHxD)||6 x 7.25 x 2.25 inches closed|
|Signed and Numbered?||Signed by the artist|