Elyse LewisMontreal, Canada
Raised on Montreal’s South Shore, Elyse Lewis is an emerging interdisciplinary artist who works mostly with images and text. Her relationship with photography started with the intuitive and spontaneous documentation of teenage friendships and the events that marked and solidified these relationships. She then received technical and professional training in photography at the Cégep du Vieux-Montréal (2010-2013). After, she completed a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts (with Photography as her major) at Concordia University (2013-2017). Her work has been displayed at the Espace Infopresse, the Donald Browne Gallery and the VAV Gallery. Furthermore, her work has been published online (Washing Dishes), as well as in a self-published book. Elyse currently lives and works in Montreal.
Elyse Lewis works with images and text to create series that are mainly composed of photographs featuring texts, poems, scans or other archive images, with the aim to present a moment in her life, an idea, a relationship. She explores extremely personal subjects about her personal and social identity, intimate relationships, the psychology of emotions, sexuality . . . any theme she finds difficult to tackle in her everyday life.
Seeking to express her intimacy through an approach based on total vulnerability, Elyse turns to self-portrait and poetry from her personal diary, or the scanning of objects of sentimental value, to illustrate deeply personal dimensions based on her own experiences. More neutral images are juxtaposed, such as portraits or spaces photographed following deadpan photography. Such objectivity can also be seen in her writing style. In the end, those who view her projects are faced with a contrast between the emotional impulsiveness which affects the artist in any given situation, and the distance she manages to achieve to better understand and analyze how the situation affects her. Viewers are invited to witness her psychological journey through her life experiences described using images and words.
Elyse frames her series within the philosophy of the 60s feminist movement, birthing ground of the famous quote, “The Private is Political’. The private is social, cultural, historical, psychological, etc. Paying attention to this allows you to become aware of a perspective that, albeit individual, is more humanistic, authentic and rooted in reality. Elyse thus hopes to inspire new discussions on complex subjects that are often ineptly addressed in society.
Photo credit : Washing Dishes