Lilly McElroy

Society for Photographic Education Award Winner

Sanding Away A Year’s Worth Of Sunsets (detail), 2019
Video. Excerpt from full length, 267 hour video.
2:36 minutes

Lilly McElroy (born 1979, Globe, AZ; lives Kansas City, MO) received a BFA from the University of Arizona, Tucson and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL. McElroy has exhibited at venues including the Figge Art Museum, Davenport, IA; The Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, IN; and Southern Exposure, San Francisco, CA; as well as Modern Art Oxford, UK. McElroy has had artist residencies at Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Madison, ME; The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA; and Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson. McElroy teaches at the Kansas City Art Institute, MI and the University of Kansas, Lawrence.

Statement from the Artist:
I create work which utilizes the landscape and reflects a complex relationship with the American West to explore what it means to be an American in a time of diminished expectations. In Sanding Away A Year’s Worth of Sunsets, 365 photographs of the setting sun were collected, stacked into a monolith, and methodically altered by hand. Day by day, I sanded through the stack of images toward the source of light gesture that is small, intimate and tender, yet ultimately removes the sun as the subject and replaces it with a growing void. The act of erasure is accomplished through the insertion of a female hand representing the agency of my body. The chasm grows more and more vulvic after each hour of sanding.