Introducing The Chicago Project Artist, Elaine Suzanne Miller!
Elaine Suzanne Miller explores the themes of death, transience, memory, preservation, and both the frailty and resilience of the human spirit through challenging experiences. While much of her work is based on personal experience, it encompasses universal themes that are intended to incite conversation and encourage others to tell their story.
Elaine graduated with a B.F.A. from Indiana University in 2011. Her project, “it would lose all purpose” has been curated into multiple group shows nationally, with a solo show in PhotoNOLA. She currently lives and works in Chicago, IL.
it would lose all purpose
it would lose all purpose is my reaction and processing of the expected passing of my father, which was quickly followed by the unexpected death of my sister. Immediately following their deaths in 2009, I began photographing the remainder of my family with significant objects symbolic of my dad and sister. I wanted to produce a means for the living to interact with the dead, thus keeping those departed alive. Photographing my nieces and nephews in places which hold our families’ roots helped me bridge the gap I saw forming between the relationship of then and now.
I also use my work to illustrate the alienation I have felt as well as the fight to recover from the disconnect I built within myself as a coping mechanism. As time has passed, I continue creating portraits of my family to represent the various stages of grief my own psyche has traversed throughout the mourning process. I especially find catharsis in photographing my nieces and nephews, as they themselves are now the symbolic objects my sister and father live through.
– Elaine Suzanne Miller