Elissa Jane Diver
Photo Fringe 2022 asks artists to respond to the idea of REAL UTOPIAS. Elissa Jane Diver is presenting work made in response to the Knepp rewilding site in West Sussex. The project to rewild 3500 acres of farmland began over 20 years ago, and today Knepp could be thought of as a real utopia, an island of extraordinary biodiversity, surrounded by roads and towns.
The term ‘wilding’ holds a sense of the ongoing, the imperfect, the unfinished. The work at Knepp has been characterised by compromise. A nuanced balance has been sought, between the need for some limited human interventions, and leaving natural processes to find their way. After many months of walking and photographing at Knepp, Elissa began to explore what happens when this approach is taken into the photography studio. Found objects from the site were the interventions that kick-started the process, and playfulness allowed for the emergence of unplanned and unexpected outcomes.
Elissa Jane Diver (b. London, 1966) studied Photography at the University of Brighton, receiving BA First Class Honours in 2012. After working as a photographer and raising two boys, she returned to education and graduated from the Royal College of Art Photography MA in 2022. Elissa’s practice explores photography’s unique relationship to the world. The photograph is revelatory; it holds a capricious mirror to reality, appearing to simply show us something, but often revealing more than we could have predicted. Once a project has been initiated, there is always a sense of anticipating that encounter with the unexpected.
13 Brunswick Square