Ellen Von Wiegand captures the fragility of a lone figure in relationship with the viewer and sees each as a space where one can project their own emotional reality. She believes we must access our vulnerability in order to move beyond limitations we’ve created for ourselves, and as such her images reverberate with her own search for self-assurance and serenity.
She chooses to feature her own body, and to gouge out strong manoeuvring lines to express the smooth coil of a physique. Figures are set against soft tones and organic forms that combine to create delicate repeating patterns. For Ellen the act of creating art has taught her that we are at our most powerful when we choose to surrender and act from a place of trust and ease.
Ellen’s desire to connect more deeply to her own reassuring voice comes out of her experience as a shy introvert who resisted her desire to be an artist for many years for fear of being seen. Yet her anxiety steadily grew until she finally determined that she could no longer ignore the urgency she felt to make art.
Her background in Art History has come to influence her images. She finds inspiration in Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock prints which inform the way she composes her figures, while the silhouettes of ancient Greek pottery have inspired the tendency to define her nudes using gentle contour against solid tone.
The exercise of printmaking lends itself to this search for serenity and fortitude. There is the pleasure of creating an image that she finds beautiful, the gratification of using traditional carving tools to gouge an image out of a lino block, and the satisfaction of manually pressing Japanese paper onto the carved, inked surface in repetitive action to create an edition of prints. For Ellen it feels purposeful and honest, serving as a kind of meditation. And when mistakes are made, as they often are, there is nothing to do but take a deep breath and begin again..
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