Elizabeth McGrady (b. 1994) is an artist based in Richmond, Virginia. She is a graduate student (2020) completing her MFA in photography at Virginia Commonwealth University. McGrady received her B.A. from Smith College in 2016 in Fine Arts and Mathematics. Her artistic practice is centered around the reach for entities just outside of the human grasp. From forgotten memories to the sphere of the supernatural, McGrady’s work examines spaces that rest on the delicate line between fiction and nonfiction.
“Hometown” is an exploration of memories that warp over time, taking on lives of their own and fraying the edges of reality. Creating and recreating places that have embedded themselves deep in my consciousness, the photographs describe a space that simultaneously exists physically and only in memory, forming a narrative by using the assumption of a photograph to represent absolute truth.
This series examines a space and town that rests on the line between fiction and nonfiction. It is the place that I, as a child, imagined living with family members lost too soon. A kind of haven that stands as a representation of the hometown I am so far from. The smell of honeysuckle and hemlock, the cool water of hidden swimming holes, the brush of tall grass, the rush of wind from a carnival ride on a summer night; I have been photographing these hazy memories in an attempt to stitch them together with new thread.
There is a further attempt to understand where I fit in this town, raised pagan and constantly aware of the strong hand of monotheistic religion in my childhood. Relying on hazy memories and long passed down stories, I create and recreate this hometown of my family that simultaneously no longer exists and yet never has. Teetering between fact and fable, still something I have always longed for.
To view more of Elizabeth McGrady’s work please visit her website.