“The element of weight, which has always seemed so fundamentally tied to the medium of sculpture, is stripped away and the laws of gravity are no longer in full effect.”
Looking at Ellen Jewett’s work to me is like reading an experimental Haruki Murakami story or a Kafka excerpt. It’s a play between what’s there, supposed to be there with what I’m suddenly seeing and what’s disappearing. I am afraid to downplay the potency of the effect of her sculptures with light words.
“..while there is an appearance of complexity in design, there is a simplicity in execution.”
Ellen studied Fine Art and Anthropology in university, she’s done some Medical Illustration and exotic animal care while continuing to study arts and sciences alongside her sculpting. Her sculpting seems to be an amazing fusion of all these experiences.
At first glance my work explores the more modern prosaic concept of nature: a source of serene nostalgia balanced with the more visceral experience of ‘wildness’ as remarkably alien and indifferent. Upon closer inspection of each ‘creature’ the viewer may discover a frieze on which themes as familiar as domestication and as abrasive as domination fall into sharp relief.
I found her About page very poetic and I was dancing in her world for the moments it took to read it.
Each detail, down to the finest filigree, is free-modeled by hand. Within each piece precision is balanced by chaos. The overarching aesthetic knocks on the door of realism, yet the hand of the artist is never intentionally erased; brush strokes and fingerprints abound. Even the narratives themselves harbor a degree of anarchy as they are rarely formally structured. Rather, I seek to achieve flow states while working to create a fluid progression of unconscious imagery. That imagery, as manifest in tiny ephemeral shapes and beings, forms relationships and dialogues organically. In the spirit of surrealism, this psychological approach to artistic expression creates a rich network of personal archetypes and motifs that appear to occupy their own otherworldly space. Within this ethereal menagerie, anthrozoology meets psychoanalysis as themes of natural beauty, curiosity, colonialism, domestication, death, growth, visibility and wildness are explored.
Wow, right? Here’s some of Ellen Jewett’s sculptures:
(All photos were taken from Ellen’s website.)