Catherine Elwes, Artist in distribution, United Kingdom, 1952

Catherine Elwes was born in St Maixent, France, in 1952 and now lives and works in London. Initially trained as a painter, she received a BA from the Slade School of Art in London 1979 and an MA fro the Royal College of Art in London in 1982. In 1981 she began to focus on making videos, which have been shown in solo and group exhibitions worldwide. She is also an art theorist and critic as well as the author of a number of articles and books including Video Art: A Guided Tour (2005). She is currently director of the Digital Editing Research Programme at Camberwell College of Art in London. Using simply edited filmed footage, Elwes creates feminist works which explore women's experience largely in relation to the activities of bearing and raising children. Heavily influenced by psychoanalytic theory, Elwes's works examine the abjection of the maternal body and various taboos around motherhood such as the desire for infanticide, and the quasi-erotic bond between mother and child. On the whole, her videos depict how a certain type of women's sense of self is developed in relation to the split between experiences of motherhood and its idealized cultural forms.