Art is not just the limit of touch and practical making, nor the touching of limits, but the point in which the touch is the very limit itself. Based in Oxford, Ella exhibits in Oxfordshire, Bath and London as well as further a field in Europe. As well as taking part in residencies, she has undertaken commissions for album art, worked with BiC pens and created pieces in collaboration with and raising awareness for Parkinsons UK. Originally working in the world theatre Ella has a lot of experience in set design and scenic art and she assisted OBE awarded set designer Es Devlin.
If you imagine that you have a pen attached to the bottom of your foot, then everywhere you go creates a line. Each individual has their own journey and with each meeting, you can map a crossing. These pathways would document the physical footsteps taken in one lifetime and together they would create a map of movements, connections and relationships. A trace of being and existence through time. I like to approach my sketches as experiments with spontaneous mark-making, where the nature of an individual line or mark as a collective creates an abstract form. This process encourages a balance and conversation between spontaneity and representation, where the freedom and fluidity is transferable to different media. Responding to literature, poetry and research forms the beginning of each enquiry and often shapes the direction of experimentation. ‘The waves’ by Virginia has become a source of written inspiration as she transcends the cliché of water symbolism and uses it not only to suggest multiple meanings, but also as a power to shape the inner state of her characters’ minds. Like Woolf my practice explores the different layers of the human mind and these can often be seen as a boundary between the viewer and the work. I choose to blur the line between abstraction and realism by layering different spaces and moments in my paintings and other media. I use semi-transparent filters of water, glass, smoke and resin as a separation or a threshold between our inner and outer realities. The reflective qualities of these layers create constantly changing lenses, reflecting and distorting reality and bring the viewer in to a reflective state of their own being.
I like to explore the darker, unexplainable areas of life, our unconscious and dreams, memories, existentialism and morality juxtaposed with fragile beauty. The atmosphere in my subject matter is often presented in a dream or limbo-like state, using elements of distortion, manipulation and abstraction to channel the distance from our reality. A form of psychological realism. The majority of my creative production revolves around classical figurative painting, presented in a contemporary manner or accompanied by lens based media. I believe that painting is and will continue to be an indispensable and crucial medium for confronting and understanding images of the times in which we live especially as technology continues to develop. Instead of ignoring technology, I have embraced the discourse between painting and many other media to form this new way of making work. I challenge the limitations of traditional painting by questioning the process of painting and how it can be curated in a contemporary gallery space. The outcome often uses technology as a way to enhance and create an immersive sensory experience for the viewer.
My work exploits the tension between tranquility and unease, push and pull, immersion and separation. Art is, for me, the process of trying to wake up the soul and ask the questions that people ignore. We live in a commercial, fast-paced world of reproduction, mundane repetition and lack of curiosity that prefers that the soul remain asleep.