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Elly MacKay  Owen Sound, ON, Canada

* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.

About Elly

Since becoming a mother, I’ve noticed that childhood is seldom explored in our culture. When looked at, we often see childhood as a journey, something to pass through, filled with obstacles, with the goal of growing up. Or in contrast, we see it packaged as a simple, joyful time. And yet on a personal level, when we want to know about someone, understand them, it is their childhood that we ask about. We see it as a key that will unlock the complexity of who a person has become. I am interested in exploring childhood, not as a state to pass through, but as a time that is perhaps the most important time in our lives, an intense time, when reality seems elusive, as it mixes with stories, dreams and imaginings and often misguided hypothesis about the world’s workings. I have magical memories from my childhood. I was a dreamer, but I also remember what we as teachers tend to call trivial, the fights, the games, the boy problems. I recall trying to figure out what was important and real, and who I was”¦ child play was the work of finding my place in the world. Since becoming a mother and moving back to my hometown, I see the same people and places so differently. Life is simpler internally, despite life being balancing act, of mothering, spending time with my husband, work, friendships, chores, creating time to create, etc.

My photographs have a storybook feel, though they are also cinematic, with intense colours and lighting. Aesthetically, I am inspired by Victorian toys, and the old fairytales I was read as a child. Making my images is a fluid process. I work with inks and yupo paper to make the ‘paper dolls’ and backgrounds. I then set them up in the mini theater. I play with the lighting, filters, composition and settings on my camera and take numerous shots to get one with the feeling I am looking for.

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10 of 21 reactions displayed

"I'm very interested I getting some of your artwork done as a tattoo. I would like your permission."

"Elly, congratulations..You create from the heart. The magic in your art clearly shows that childhood will always remain a special and wonderful part of every human being.The simple games of days gone and the joy involved are truly transmitted by you..Olga"

"Absolutely lovely :)"

"revel the artwork.....but you went on to long about yourself....sorry but i cant stand artists statements...."

"pic a; peep for the teenage princesspic b; farewell to a forgone past."

"Elly, it's so great to see your pieces from a distance... congratulations on being showcased on Mother's Day!"


"really great!!!"

"Fun and unique way to combine illustration, crafting and photography. I like!"

"This work is beautiful. I love the crisp cutout edges - and the way they combine with the lighting's whimsical surrealism."

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