María Elvira Escallón lives and works in Bogotá, Colombia. She studied at the Academia de Dibujo Pena, Spain and has exhibited extensively throughout South America.
Escallón’s photographic series, Nueva Flora (2002) , documents interventions done directly to native trees in Colombian forests. Tree trunks or branches are carved into traditional furniture or architectural forms by an expert wood-carver. The almost surreal carvings assign an alternative function and identity to a living body —the tree is transformed into a consumer good before it even stops being a tree.
Escallón was Visiting Arts Fellow at Spike Island, UK (2004). Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art of Bogotá; at the Alliance Française, and at the Bienal del Caribe.
She has received several distinctions such as a Grant for Individual Creativity from the Ministry of Culture of Colombia as well as 1st Prize in the VII Show for Regional Artists. She is the recipient of the Luis Caballero Award, organized by the Office of the Mayor of Bogotá.