AQUEOUS, 2015 - ongoing

The impulse to work on the subject of water came from not understanding how it can powerfully attract me and simultaneously push away. As much as I admire water's grandiosity and beauty, I also always feared it. Water's constant movement, its formlessness, diversity and changeability is the motivation to research this theme further and to create art. Working on the subject is contemplating the ever-changing aspect of life, us and photography. The moment when one thinks to have seen the shape of water, it is already gone. Similarly, the way how we feel about water and life is dependent on our experiences and circumstances, thus, constantly shifting. We sometimes forget that all the waters, as well as us, are connected – the relationship between humans and water is reciprocal.

I am interested in malleability of image's physical form and visual meaning through the ideas of repetition, processing, multilayering and polarities: still/moving, abstract/representational, knowledge/illusion, fear/comfort. Layering is both physical and conceptual. I work on water’s properties, by using transparent material, layering images, cutting and organizing them in the space as if dissecting water and looking for recognizable only to realize that it is an illusion. I construct these realities of knowledge, movement and depth within the frames, sometimes also drawing the lines and adding tape, to secure stability even though it is not characteristic of water. I often photograph the same body of water multiple times, stacking the images to convey that nothing is unambiguous, there are layers of intricacy. The three-dimensional aspect in my work questions photography's confinement to flat, two-dimensional pieces on the wall. When I make photographs, I trust my intuition and process, every finished piece is the beginning of a new one.



Back From Dust, 2015

Back From Dust contemplates the archaic state of photography. Taken underwater, the images were printed on the non-emulsion side of the transparency, letting the inks continue to flow, and, while drying, they also accumulated the dust from the space. By letting the photographs to continue to develop, I let them to brake down to regain a new life after the inks have set. They reflect on the pollution of water & contamination of image.

Ambiguous Research at Seven Impossible Seas, 2015

Ambiguous Research at Seven Impossible Seas examines the life suspended in water. It explores hypothetical undiscovered existence in the deep sea. As the deep waters are so less known, the creatures I construct could actually live somewhere.

01_Elina Ruka_Domesticities.jpg



IT, 2012 - ongoing

My favourite running path is through the forest that leads to the seaside at my childhood's village. I have taken this route countless times but it was not until one day years later when I took a picture. since then, every time I visit my parents and go for a run, I take a cellphone picture. It is always the same spot but never the same image. It is the spot, the sea, the change, the horizon.






Domesticities, 2010 - ongoing

Domesticities is a portrait of my family and a means to better understanding such terms as home and belonging, my roots and identity. It is at the same time a story of Latvia, its distinctive characteristics and traditions.

I visualise Latvia after two decades of independence from Soviet Union through personal perspective. I am interested to find out what are the traditions that were carried on from the ancestors, what influences got appropriated during the Soviet times and how the new identity in again independent Latvia has been shaped.







* In French:

1) run-up

2) momentum

3) impulse

4) surge

5) the life force

6) elk






Could This Become My Home? 2009

While the city exists without me, I am searching for something familiar but instead I find myself.

Living in a foreign place is to look for answers in the void that is filled with my needs.

My wanderings in Lyon led me to a new truth - I have to leave to learn what I am coming back to.

Could this become my home?