Ellen Jewett’s Sculptures Mix Nature and the Otherworldly

by Andy SmithPosted on

Ellen Jewett, a self-described “sculpture artist and animal sympathizer,” crafts surreal scenes, taking inspiration from the natural world. Jewett says that at first sight, her work is a blend of “serene nostalgia” and a visceral interpretation of the wild, but “upon closer inspection of each ‘creature’ the viewer may discover a frieze on which themes as familiar as domestication and as abrasive as domination fall into sharp relief.” Jewett was featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 33.

The Canadian artist’s handmade sculptures begin with a metal armature, with clay molded around the framework. Jewett then uses acrylic, oil, and mineral pigments to create the hues of the beasts. The style of Jewett’s handiwork mixes realism, surrealism, and the intentional strokes and prints specific to each animal.

In a statement, Jewett comments on the evolution of her work: “Over time I find my sculptures are evolving to be of greater emotional presence by using less physical substance: I subtract more and more to increase the negative space,” she says. “The element of weight, which has always seemed so fundamentally tied to the medium of sculpture, is stripped away and the laws of gravity are no longer in full effect.”

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