In her exhibit, "Mother’s Milk, Father’s Blood" Claffey examines contemporary Albanian identity and the complex intersection of present and past as shaped by a people’s perseverance, desire, hope, and conflict. Elizabeth's work focuses on how personal and familial narratives are shaped by interactions with both the private and public forces.
She explains, “As a visitor, I have tried to perceive a shared knowledge, a common understanding that deeply connects Albanians beyond western categories of identification. This ethos is unwavering, elusive, an unspoken culture that creates resilience but can also generate isolation. "Mother’s Milk, Father’s Blood" is an attempt to visually and emotionally access something that is not available to me verbally or intellectually.” Her work explores the power of folklore in the Albanian ethos and captures sometimes haunting moments of traditional antiquity shaded with thoughts of legend and magic. Elizabeth explains, “The mother’s milk and the father’s blood are part of a deep folkloric tradition, which can explain one’s past while simultaneously shaping the future.”
Elizabeth M. Claffey is an Assistant Professor of Photography at Indiana University in Bloomington and a 2019-20 Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. She has an MFA in Studio Art from Texas Woman's University, where she also earned a Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies. In 2012, she was awarded a William J. Fulbright Fellowship. She used this fellowship to fund her documentary and creative research in Eastern Europe. Her work has been recognized by PDN Magazine, Center Santa Fe, The Eddie Adams Workshop, and various galleries and publications including Strange Fire Collective, Don't Take Pictures Magazine, and Western Exhibitions in Chicago.
"Mother’s Milk, Father’s Blood" will be on view through 25 October 2019. Ms. Claffey will speak about her work on Friday, 4 October, 3 pm, in Sverdrup 123. There will be an opening reception in the gallery from 5-7 pm.
May Gallery events are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 am to 9 pm, and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 pm.
Friday, October 25, 2019 at 9:00am to 9:00pm
8300 Big Bend Boulevard, 63119