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Amee Ellis

There are landscapes inside us, memories made of dust, fog, water, grit, and haze. We are shaped by our landscape and it is shaped by us. Our memories live in the soil, some buried so deeply we forgot we
planted them.

"The Sea Beneath Our Feet" is a project commissioned by the Des Moines Metro Opera, a photographic interpretation of their world premiere opera "A Thousand Acres," based on Jane Smiley’s novel. These photographs reflect on the women of the story and the Iowa farm where they grow up, live, and move away from. Three sisters are set to inherit their father’s land, a family legacy acquired over time by
perseverance and opportunity. This thousand acres is a place where you look out for your neighbors, but also take advantage of their misfortune. This inheritance comes with expectations, dark truths, and regret. My photographs consider the sisters through the Iowa landscape and ask the viewer to contemplate its past, present, and future.

Amee Ellis grew up around the Midwest and studied fine art photography at Columbia College Chicago (1995). Her work has appeared in solo and juried group exhibitions and received Best In Show at “Iowa Exhibited XXXVI” in 2021. Recently, her series "The Sea Beneath Our Feet" was featured in a solo exhibition at Polk County Heritage Gallery and installed at the Blank Performing Arts Center for Des Moines Metro Opera's summer festival season. All of Amee's photographs are created with film and her gelatin silver prints are made by the artist in her home darkroom. She lives in Des Moines, Iowa.

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