The Never Ending Thread
Ellen came to her art practice later in life via a commercial route that took her through design, marketing and publishing. In 2017 Ellen was invited to India as part of a textile residency in Odisha. The background of her practice had been in drawing, painting and mixed media. She had a passion for block printing and was searching for a way to combine her visual and textile practice. “In my first hour in Bhubaneshwar I went from excited to stimulated and finally to a level of creative saturation that has stayed with me”.
“In this exhibition I am taking what I saw as a way of life and trying to reinterpret it so that viewers can understand the nature of a circular economy. To grow the cloth, harvest the fibre, spin, weave and fashion the garment. To wear the garment, explore it’s uses and finally have the cloth breakdown into the soil and be part of the ongoing cycle”.
By weaving, drawing, dyeing and mixing age-old traditions with modern techniques, Ellen’s aim is to delight the viewer with unexpected stories. She uses golden jute, Tussar, mulberry and banana silk dyed naturally and woven in the Saori style. Her cloth panels are block printed with her hand carved original designs. A featured piece in the exhibition is a collaborative work with textile artist and designer, Michelle Tindale, who Ellen met in India and has formed a close creative relation with.
“You can paint or draw with thread, you can wear the landscape and you can see a feeling”.