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Long Island Girl Makes It Big with New Exhibit


Elliott's photographs are inspired by "Alice in Wonderland," "The Frog Princess," "Sleeping Beauty" and "Cinderella." Many are on display at the campus art studio, while others can be seen on her Web site at .

Elliott also draws inspiration from films she has seen, old photos and paintings she admires.

"Besides using art and paintings as a reference, I try to learn about the artist, often looking at many of their works."

Her influences include photographers Julia Margaret Cameron, Sally Mann, Paul Outerbridge, Cindy Sherman and the illustrators/painters John William Waterhouse, John Teniel, Alphonse Mucha, Balthus and Tamara de Lempicka.

She also has been influenced by filmmakers Alfred Hitchcock, George Romero and Herk Harvey. Two of the photos in the Berkeley show were inspired by the films "Night of the Living Dead" (1968) and "Carnival of Souls" (1962).

In one photo, a woman sits in a vintage black car, clutching a bouquet of white roses to her chest, looking out the window expectantly. Like in many of her photos, Elliott says, the heroines are equally terrified and apathetic about their circumstances.

Her fairy tale

Born in Massapequa, N.Y., in 1968, Elliott has been taking pictures since she was 11 when her parents bought her a Kodak 110 camera for her birthday. Being a shy girl, she said she found it easier to look at people through the lens of the camera than in any other way.

In 11th grade, she got a manual camera, a Pentax K1000, and soon learned about focus and exposure. She attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City for a year, and also holds a bachelor's degree in literature from State University of New York.

"Her background in literature gives her work depth and gives her a rich source of material to mine," Honig said.

Diana Elliott's "Fairy Tales and Other Stories" is on exhibit through Aug. 3 at the ASUC Art Gallery in the MLK Jr. Student Union in Lower Sproul Plaza, UC Berkeley campus. Gallery hours are noon to 10 p.m. weekdays and noon to 5 p.m. weekends. Admission is free.

The ASUC Art Gallery, started in 1961 to encourage creativity in both students and members of the community, offers classes, workshops and display space for UC students, campus faculty and staff and local community members to develop and refine their skills in the visual arts.

About 250 classes for all levels are offered each year in photography, ceramics, video, drawing, painting, digital imaging and other art media. Fees vary.