Elly Clarke

As a guest speaker, I am not sure this counts. However, this blog is supposed to be about what inspires us, and no disrespect to the other photographers who came in to speak for us, Elly Clarke’s work, I found fascinating. Belive it or not, this is not me sucking up. I have chosen to review her talk when she first arrived at our University. She began by introducing herself, quite nervously, and began talking through a number of her projects to date. In comparison to previous guest speakers, she seems quite unsure of herself as she began taking us through her work and the inspirations that got her there. There was no need. Her work intrigued me in a different way. Part of it, I’m going to put down to her approach and the way she spoke to us. Instead of ‘lecturing’ us, trying to imprint an idea or method of working in our heads, she simply sat in front of us, and described her work, the same as we do for each other. It was casual, calm and more inspiring than a ‘lecture’. Letting us take from it what we will, and not trying to create an opinion for us.

The first series she discussed was based around a painting of a distant relative. I’ve struggled to remember his name, but the series of work originated from tracking down the limited number of portraits he created and photographing the descendants who still have the work displayed at home. Similar to the concept of Benjamin Chaperton’s lecture, she works with the still image along side an audio tape. Exploring the combination and atmosphere created within your work is something I am interested in after witnessing the intriguing effects it can have on both the final result, and the viewer.


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