|Artist / Creator
|Place of Publication
|Number of Images
|11 original photographs
|Structure / Binding
|Wooden box with two hand-made piano hinges
|Medium / Materials
|Dress pattern pieces, measuring tape, skewers, paper clay, photos
|6 x 7.25 x 2.25 inches closed
|Signed & Numbered
|Signed by the artist
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."
Artist BioSmith Eliot is a visual artist and analog photographer, and has been creating mixed media artworks since 1986. Her work has been exhibited nationally, won numerous awards, and has been featured in photography publications such as Diffusion Magazine, The Hand, Shots, and B&W Magazine, as well as in literary journals such as Calyx. Smith graduated with honors from the University of Chicago, holds an MFA from SUNY, Buffalo, and currently teaches darkroom photography at the Portland and Clackamas Community Colleges. She has lived in cities all across the country, and was raised in Germany. In 1996 she landed in Portland, Oregon, and lives in a small house with a cob porch, an out-of-control alder tree, and three pesky cats.