Trained as an anthropologist/musician, and an art historian respectively, artists Jeff Charbonneau & Eliza French collaborate to produce staged photographs that transform personal family folklore and childhood reminiscence into scenes rich in fantasy, melancholy and seduction. Massillon is the true story of ancestor Zeta Eliza Woolley, transposed through the surreal imaginings of the artists into a fairy-tale of suffering and unpredictable beauty. Each photograph is part of an unraveling narrative, derived from the memories and dreams inspired by Woolley’s life and death in Massillon, Ohio in the late 1800’s. Combining a love for Victorian era aesthetics and 19th century craftsmanship, the artists produce large-scale photographs of rare texture and depth using medium and large format film, and traditional black and white darkroom techniques. 

Jeff Charbonneau & Eliza French, writes critic and curator Peter Frank,
“have compiled an impressive body of work brimming with mystery and sensuality, self-consciously but elegantly Gothic – stills, it would seem, from an Edgar Allen Poe film adaptation directed by Ingmar Bergman, or Fellini’s take on Lewis Carroll.”