|Title||The Book of Hurt 'n' Healing|
|Artist / Creator||Smith Eliot|
|Place of Publication||Portland, OR|
|Number of Images||4 original photographs|
|Structure / Binding||Wooden Box, double hinge|
|Medium / Materials||Paint, old maps, bamboo skewers, bird's nest, shredded book pages|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||4.5 x 6.75 x 4.5 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:The Book of Hurt 'n' Healing describes injury in the first chapter (viewed by opening the book from one side) where we see our protagonist pierced by skewers. In the second chapter (opening the other side), we see the process of healing. The nest signifies both "home" and "nature." The write-through mini poems within the nest show how the text of our lives may be re-written. My personal healing has been in recovery from alcoholism, but we all bear our own personal difficulties. This work suggests, and my personal belief is that recovery is always possible if we want it.
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.