Local photographer Elizabeth O'Guin shares her story and the process she goes through to create her unique pieces.
Photos by Olivia Ross
Elizabeth O’Guin is a photographer with a special love for the nature around her. Elizabeth is a senior working toward her BFA in Photography and Media Art at UTC. Her photographs put a heavy emphasis on form and light, and she creates works that are “gentle,” “airy,” and focus on touch and tactility. She composes pieces such as books, prints, and sculptures that all stem from her photography. Her main focus is the relationship between humans and nature. She looks to further understand and appreciate how we interact with the Earth.
Heavily inspired by her own research and other photographers such as Anne Brigman, Elizabeth is constantly evaluating the human-nature relationship. She uses her studies of biophilia theory and the mycorrhizae layer to create a unique approach in her content. Her current favorite project is a podium she has created for one of her photo pieces. The podium utilizes natural elements, such as clay, moss, dirt, and roots. The piece made her feel a bit more connected to nature by creating her own piece of an environment.
Within Elizabeth’s studio, one can find many natural elements scattered about. This is her favorite part of her work space. Leaves and flowers can be seen pinned up around the walls of her studio, and it is not uncommon to find a pile of dirt or bed of moss on her desk. These elements are used as inspiration for her works.
For Elizabeth, the key to having a successful day in the studio is creating a schedule. By having a clear list of what needs to be completed, she is more motivated to get to work. A to-do list goes hand-in-hand with a good music playlist. With these two things, she is ready to create. Additionally, she highlights the importance of trying out new mediums. She believes that experimenting with these unfamiliar mediums is great for the development of one’s art practice.
Currently, Elizabeth is very interested in combining her photographs with bookmaking. Once she completes this, she is looking forward to working with projections. The layering possibilities with projections are something she feels could offer endless creative freedom.