Annabel Elgar is a photographic based artist who lives and works in London. She was one of eight nominees for the inaugural Prix Elysée at the Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland (2014-2015) for her series, 'Cheating the Moon' which took as its starting point the stolen and missing moon rocks from the Apollo Missions. She has an MA in Photography from the Royal College of Art and her work has featured in numerous international exhibitions and publications throughout Europe and North America. Elgar's work has been shown in 'Theatres of the Real' at the FotoMuseum Antwerp (accompanied by a book published by Photoworks), 'Contemporary Photography from north-western Europe' at Fondazione Fotografia, Modena and in the book and exhibition 'New Photography in Britain' at the Galleria Civica di Modena, Italy. She has had solo shows at the Wapping Project, London and The Wapping Project Bankside, London, Metronom, Modena, Italy and has also exhibited at, amongst others, Kunsthalle Lophem, Loppem, Belgium, Zephyr Centre for Photography, Mannheim, Germany, Sweet Briar College, Virginia, USA (three person show with Gregory Crewdson and Justine Kurland), New Art Gallery Walsall, UK, Galerie Polaris, Paris, the Museum of New Art, Detroit, USA, Error One, Antwerp, Belgium. Annabel Elgar has also collaborated with the House of Fairy Tales on a number of projects. Her work was featured in the Winter 2011 edition of Source Photographic Review (Issue 69).
Annabel Elgar's photographs present an imagined archive of retreats and hideaways. Lodged somewhere between fact and fiction, they read like a fantasy labyrinth of oddball activity, conjuring up the fall-out of human interaction. The dramas she creates often allude to contemporary events of surreptitious exchange, where issues of counterculture and collective and individual withdrawal are predominant.The ongoing 'Refuge' and 'Companion' series explore these central themes. The court case of the breakaway Amish group who were found guilty of hair cutting was the chrysalis for 'Companion (5)'. The doomsday cult in Russia who withdrew into a cave for the impending Armageddon and the creationist teacher who branded crosses on to the arms of his pupils with an electric coil form part of this trajectory. Within these gothic vignettes, the characters (who are often absent in the final image) have laboured lovingly over hand-made puppets, bread sculptures and other strange contraptions, presenting a world of endless and inane production.Elgar's photographs are poised between the fairytale and the everyday. Sources, often mythic, are gleaned from news stories, the internet, folklore, literature and art history. Conceived as 'staged' photography, her work blurs the line between the constructed and the documentary. Peppered with carefully honed details such as cropped figures, fires and totemic symbols, the images present an endless proliferation of narrative possibilities. The viewer is made aware of ritualistic behaviour and the allusion towards cult and secrecy, yet the locale is never cleary identified.