My work is placed firmly in the contemporary realist tradition. 


The way that light changes the reality of forms and environments and the manipulation of time has been of prime interest in my recent work.  The physicality of place is explored using remnant architectural forms and contemporary public urban structures as subject matter.  My current focus on areas of transition such as stairs and escalators that link one place to another, also provides a further narrative element.


I like to explore the interaction of transparency and reflection, shadows and layered space. My interest lies in the structure and play of transient light on geometric forms that create spatial complexity, fracture reality and increase the sense of ambiguity. I like to select viewpoints that destabilize the viewer, so one is drawn into a somewhat disturbing or slightly surreal environment. I deliberately eliminate people from the image in order to detach the space from human activity. There is a sense of familiarity coupled with uncertainty.

I’m influenced by the work of contemporary architects who use new materials and new technologies to create radical architecture. I photograph highly unusual buildings, documenting interesting or obscure details in changing light conditions. Although I work from a combination of these photos and drawings, I change the composition, edit details and re-imagine structural elements so that reality is altered or time has been manipulated. Further shifts from the original occur in the painting where texture and the materiality of oil paint on canvas add another layer of distortion.

© 2019 Elizabeth Cowell