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Smith Eliot “Ghost Ships” at Wolff Gallery
March 2, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Smith Eliot, Ghost Ships
February 28th – April 29th, 2018
Opening Reception March 2nd, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
2804 SE Ankeny St. Portland OR 97214
Wednesday – Sunday 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Legend has it that the Octavius, a three-masted schooner, was found adrift by a whaling boat in October of 1775. A search party of five from the whaler climbed aboard the Octavius and discovered the entire crew of twenty-eight fully dressed and frozen at the helm. The captain was seated at his desk, pen in hand…also frozen. According to his log, last dated October of 1762, the Octavius had been lost at sea for over thirteen years.
Inspired by tales of ships floating aimlessly in open waters, suddenly abandoned or with passengers and crews left in various stages of decomposition, Smith Eliot’s Ghost Shipsconsists of photographs and objects that position people as these vessels adrift, and as similarly impermanent, transient, and mysterious entities. Eliot’s images are the result of digital and analogue photographic processes, encased in vintage frames with convex glass to visually reference ships’ portholes. Many of these frames also function as time capsules and contain small objects alongside the artist’s photographs.
As part of her solo exhibition, Eliot will also present a selection of her Little Boxes, which focus on the passing of time, memory, and challenging relationships. These one-of-a-kind objects include the artist’s original photographs, antique doll parts, found animal bones, insects, and old books. In many cases viewers must touch, unlock, and open each box before many of these surprises may be revealed.
Smith Eliot is a visual artist and analogue photographer who has been creating mixed media artworks since 1986. She was raised in Germany and lived in cities all across the United States before landing in Portland, Oregon in 1996. Her work has been exhibited nationally, won numerous awards, and has been featured in photography publications such as Diffusion, Shots, B&W Magazine, and Bokeh, as well as in literary journals such as Calyx. She currently teaches darkroom photography at Portland Community College and at Clackamas Community College.