The Old World


I make photographs in an attempt to understand the disorienting duality of the self – the randombubbling up of the mysterious unconscious into the strict reality of the conscious. Unyielding, the conscious constantly remains in the forefront of the waking mind, while, in subterfuge, the unconscious rules behind a thick curtain of mystery.

Self-portraits reveal solitude and stillness of time. It is impossible to place the subject in any certain reality. There is no specific time or place, only a dazed and fragmented mirror world. The subject appears calm on the surface - an idealized and romanticized view of the self. But, deeper inspection reveals a tension below the surface.

A bucolic view of an underlying uneasy natural world, the quiet turbulence of a domestic space that is frozen in time, the daze of self-reflection trapped within the day dream, and the locked mysteries of the place-less landscape of dreams and unconscious create a world apart – one that allows for the constant search of the unseen.


Emily Sheffer (b. 1993) earned her BFA in Photography with Departmental Honors from The Massachusetts College of Art and Design in May of 2015. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at San Francisco Camerawork Gallery, All Visual Boston at the Institute of Contemporary Art, and in The Danforth Art Museum New England Photography Biennial, where she received a Juror’s Award. Emily was recently listed as a LensCulture Top 50 Emerging Photographer of 2015. She currently works as a fine art photographer and studio assistant in Boston, MA.