Ellen Rogers photographs are bewitching pictures, drawing you into an animistic world that lies somewhere between pagan and gothic, magical and fantastical. Her beautiful muses seem to float above a reality, free to express themselves yet somehow trapped, caught in an rich, sumptuous image of their own making. It is a strange dichotomy; sexual and emotional freedom and the entrapment of the individual within their own fallibility.
Rogers has an insightful vision, she is clear in her intention, is knowing of herself, is able to express the alluring quality of beauty in subtle ways, an innocence and intimacy created through a layering of colours and forms within a simple compositional arrangement. What’s most gratifying about these photographs is that they are analog pictures. Rogers has eschewed the digital for the chemical often making her own, experimenting, pushing her limits, her knowledge, her process until, like water, it satisfies her artistic need to create a beautiful image. Here’s what she has to say about her process:
Ellen’s work spans time with its use of traditional darkroom process blended with modern imagery in a hazy and emotive world into which we can only glimpse these fleeting moments. Each image is intimately worked on by hand using a wide array of secretive techniques practiced from a young age. Often the colours are abstract reimaginings that convey an enigmatic feel that is so distinct to Rogers’ work.
She confesses that a lot of the work is thematically based in history, folklore, literature and their marriage to her childhood. The work visits tragic events like the match worker’s strike in the 1800’s or the events surrounding the demise of the Iceni at the hands of the Romans.
Rogers’ work is a far cry from the contemporary digital realm where the work never truly exists and cannot be interacted with so intimately, it begs to be seen in the flesh.
It is no wonder that Rogers is in great demand for fashion shoots but if you want to see what she can really do then you should check out her personal work.