Behind The Haunting Paintings Of Melbourne Artist Ella Dunn

Ella Dunn’s figurative paintings are encouraged by individual ordeals. She derives narratives from people, associations, areas and domestic scenes – there is no telling the place or when she could get a spark of inspiration. 

‘I am constantly drawing,’ she explains. ‘That informs my paintings. My drawing notebooks occur with me almost everywhere. I often write down moments that I have seasoned or that have caught my focus and have stayed with me in some way. As the drawings, sketches and words and phrases make, I begin to acquire a free, fragmented narrative that drives the functions.’ 

Most just lately, a moment involving two little ones at kindergarten, wherever Ella (an Early Childhood Teacher in coaching) was on placement, established in movement the idea for her most up-to-date entire body of operate on shadows.

‘I was pushing two little ones on the swing when one explained “look down!”. Their shadows had been dancing up and back along the ground. The child claimed, “look, I’m touching my shadow, no it’s touching me”, as they reached down to the ground,’ she points out. 

This instant drew Ella’s consideration to the numerous means in which shadows change and morph, based on how you perspective them. 

‘Looking about, I became knowledgeable of the distinct rhythms and techniques shadows exhibited themselves. I observed my shadow following me, being there as business, so I began documenting my shadow on various surfaces,’ she says. 

Her favourite piece in the new collection, ‘I touch my shadow, no my shadow touches me’, is a nod to this second of conception. 

Painting was not often Ella’s chosen medium. The artist moved from the mid-North coastline in New South Wales to Melbourne in 2013 to review wonderful arts at VCA in drawing and printmaking. But, when a housemate’s pal gave her an previous suitcase entire of oil paints, she realised she had uncovered her delighted area. 

‘I assumed I may well as well give them a go,’ she claims. ‘Since then I have cherished the medium of paint and its unpredictability.’ 

She does not have a reliable system she follows, alternatively she allows instinct to guidebook the system (which often consists of applying layers of paint, eliminating it and portray more than it once again).

‘Even if I start out out with an strategy, I never know where I am heading to end up,’ she says. ‘And that is the attractiveness of paint.’

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