The British artist Elizabeth Croft has a BA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College, University of London. She moved to Norway in 2007 and works mainly in photography, text and large-scale installations. She is interested in the relationship between the individual and society: in her recent work she has investigated Norwegian society’s norms and attitudes.
Croft has exhibited in Norway, Britain and Italy. She has had solo shows at Stavanger kunstforening (now Stavanger kunsthall), Bryne kunstforening and Galleri Gann. In 2012 she was awarded the Fritz Røed residency, which resulted in an exhibition at Røed’s former atelier in Villa Faraldi, Italy. For her exhibition at Bryne kunstforening she collaborated with The Museum of Jæren (Jærmuseet), using images from their photographic archive.
Elizabeth Croft is interested in the subtle cues and hidden “rules” that regulate members of a society. Her work often has a dark humour, which is directed as much at herself as those people and things around her.
In her photography she uses post-production techniques to subtly alter images, employing digital collage, filters or other effects. She alters reality to exaggerate a certain feeling or psychological state. She seeks often to find beauty in the everyday, or even in more ugly or unpleasant places. Trucks, gynaecological treatment rooms, quarries and building sites have all been subjects of her work.
Text has always been an important part of Croft’s work but since moving to Norway and in the process of learning the Norwegian, language itself has become a subject of her work. How does language affect our thoughts? What is lost in translation? What does it mean to speak another language other than one’s mother tongue and how does this affect everyday life? More people are on the move now than at any other time in human history, most of them are seeking a new life and will face many barriers to integrating themselves into a new society, with language being one of the major obstacles.
Croft sees her photorealistic drawings as essentially another way to work with the subtle manipulation of photographs. The use of cake paper doilies refer to a sort of luxury now enjoyed by the newly wealthy Norwegians: we are surrounded by a daily abundance but not too long ago people worked physically hard in difficult conditions. These workers are transferred to the paper doilies and in the process become delicate and fragile.