Alice Anne Ellis
“Rending/Rendering,” an art exhibition at artspace Gallery
23 September – 23 October, 2016
The beauty of Hawai'i is miraculous and haunting. Eons ago, seething, volcanic rock pushed its way above the waves, cooled, and firmed into fantastic shapes. Tilled and seeded only by the wind, rain and birds, the bare rock blossomed into a paradise.
It was discovered by the native Hawai'ians just “yesterday” (less than 2000 years ago) in the 28 million year old life of the islands. My current body of work is about my memories of a visit to the "Big Island," the most recently born from the sea – swirls made by creeping, searing lava; plants that find tiny crevices to hug with their roots; glimpses of enchantment in the sea; giant ferns that grow on the wet, windward side.
My primary medium is pigmented ink, on paper and panel. Although I do have a particular place or object in mind when I begin, all I am concerned about initially is the movement of ink on the surfaces. What happens there sets the starting point.
The act of tearing the paper and creating a collage provides a new focus on the abstract quality of the marks. I enjoy the logistical problems of integrating the images, and the discovery of new relationships and rhythms as I combine them. The consequent push and pull between areas of the work prompts a continuing conversation between the surfaces. Originating in a fragment of memory, the final result is a melding of abstract pattern and depiction.
My work is influenced by a fascination with sumie (Japanese ink painting), block printing, and the capacity of ink on paper to speak in many tones.