Elaine Adams

← Return to From Afar: 2020 Senior Art Exhibition



During my time at UT, I have developed a diverse studio practice incorporating photography, sculpture, transmedia, and sound. My work in the Senior Art Exhibition distills my conceptual projects down to what I consider to be their core—the images behind them. My work draws inspiration from a wide variety of sources, including science fiction, horror, the human body, and experimental film and music. In some cases, these elements are referenced directly in my work through the appropriation of the images I look to when creating art.

Through photography, I seek to describe the indescribable. Enigmatic, hard-to-place subject matter—including notions of the self, the human body, identity, and death—come to the forefront in each image. While the subjects in each image confront the viewer through stark contrasts and intense flash, the actual substance of each photograph is not so clearly illustrated. To me, these images exist in their own ambiguous, familiar-but-not-too-familiar world, allowing viewers to decipher the meaning for themselves based on the fragments presented to them. Ultimately, the photographs evoke an almost visceral sense of both mystery and familiarity.

My practice also includes portraiture. For years, I have made work following self-created “rules”: for example, only shooting photography in a deliberately isolated environment, such as my room, and only taking pictures of myself. By photographing personal objects, found imagery, and even my own body, I am able to capture a mysterious sense of identity in a visually nontraditional way.

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