Looking for Edmonia (Self-Portrait)
These images and video form the installation Looking for Edmonia (Self-Portrait) which proposes an uncanny dialogue with the 19th century American sculptress Mary Edmonia Lewis. She was the first woman of African and Native American heritage to achieve international fame and recognition in the fine arts world and worked for most of her career in Rome, Italy.
In CONJURE I entertain the idea of the spirit world in ritual-like choreography amid solitary Italian landscapes to channel Edmonia.
REVERIE and SLUMBER, is a 3D video with sound and imagines a portal where the conscious and the unconscious fuse to construct otherworldly narratives. SUBSUME concludes the installation with a series of 3 assemblages incorporating white marble, Edmonia's material of choice.
My commonalities with Lewis – mixed race American woman, creative ambition, Italian domiciles – and her unmarked grave found in a London cemetery very near where I once lived propelled
a sort of psychic connection and a desire to 'channel' her.
Gisela Torres is a London based photographic artist who works with still and moving image to reference the otherworldly and the ethereal. She merges old and new technologies and approaches her fine art practice as a form of spiritualism. Gisela is a lecturer and tutor at The National Portrait Gallery, The Photographer's Gallery, V&A and The October Gallery.