Ellen Balcomb Artist CV
2016 BA Hons Fine Art Painting, University of Brighton
2013 Foundation Diploma, University College of London: Camberwell
2017 Group show, Enter the dragon, Chongqing, China
2017 Group show, Kings Hill Gallery, West Malling, Kent
2016 Graduate Show, College of Arts and Humanities, University of Brighton
2015 BYSSO, College of Arts and Humanities, University of Brighton
2017 Organhaus Residency, Chongqing, China
2017 Visiting Artist talk, Organhaus
2017 Visting Artist talk, University of Brighton
2016 Joint currator of Fine Art Painting Graduate Show, University of Brighton
Overview of current work
My work is currently based around sensation and physical exploration of painting though organic form, archetypal landscape and mark making including the geometric and gestural. Combining different mediated images from sources such as the national geographic magazine predominantly landscape and organic matter, flock wallpaper prints, to Eastern prints old and new. Exploring the idea of combining Decorative and Eastern painting. The works are mainly aesthetically driven, and play with the idea of beauty exploring mark making and the value each gestural mark has within a composition using a range of mediums, layering and density of paint.
I am exploring the idea of beauty and its relationship to the decorative. There has always been a troubled relationship between modernism and decorative arts, my work asks questions about where the value of beauty sits in contemporary painting through using different sources, sampling and quoting from different legacy’s bringing them together. For me, I gather images because there is a quality in them that I find beautiful. It’s a personal attachment to these images; it isn’t simply one dimension of aesthetic characteristics.
I’m attempting to use the genre of landscape painting that are settings to develop a abstract painting language. A moon, or segment of a moon features in many of the paintings, it acts for the shifting in light, I’m interested in the afterglow it gives to a landscape and the appearance of organic forms in twilight. This use of lighting plays a big part in places natural and synthetic colours together. The moon as a motif has appeared in many historical periods of art and I wish to use it to question its value in signs and signifiers in art.
Regarding the materiality; the nature of the surface is key, the aim for a smooth surface the canvas must be prepared in a way to give the smooth qualities involving layers of acrylic gesso and sanding. Working on a very smooth surface allows me to develop a range of marks and gestures; these are integral to the facture which prevalent in the paintings.
The works borrow elements from modernist movements such as colour field painting, pattern and decoration and elements that reflect to the legacy of organic and mechanical abstraction. Using quotation and appropriation to build a visual language, this defines the strategies that I employ in the research and finished paintings.