The light at the end of lockdown

The light at the end of lockdown

By Katie Johnson

Following a difficult 2020, Photography Studies College (PSC) graduate Elli Bardas decided to celebrate the resilience of the human spirit through her colourful, three-dimensional portraits.

From mask-wearing, to the sensory deprivation of being confined to your house, Ms Bardas chose to explore the physical, mental and spiritual boundaries that Melbourne’s lockdown created.

Ms Bardas said her latest portraits were inspired by the will power it took to cope with COVID restrictions.

“2020 was a hard year in my house, so photography provided a creative outlet that allowed me to keep my sanity,” Ms Bardas said.

“Portraits were a great medium because I enjoy creating an image that says something about who the person is or hopefully creating questions about who they really are.”

Ms Bardas is currently exhibiting three portraits at Wolfhound Gallery in Fitzroy, two of which are three dimensional.

The works were created using the Wunder Gym program, which provided monthly artistic prompts from mentors.

Ms Bardas said the prompt about masks inspired her to create a three-dimensional piece using feathers to explore how we feel about our bodies.

“My contention was that, what if our body is a mask that hides who we really are? We have bodies but we are not our bodies,” Ms Bardas said.

“So, what do we find when we look deeper than the fleshy surface?”

Ms Bardas graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor degree at PSC, which she said was a great avenue to connect with other artists.

“I got into photography because I liked taking photos and I knew I was as good as I was going to get without taking a class, so I signed up for a 20-week course at PSC,” Ms Bardas said.

“It’s great because you’re being taught by actual photographers with different specialties, and now I have a community of artist friends who support each other.”

Ms Bardas’s work will be displayed on Brunswick St for the next three weeks •

To see more of her work, visit

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