Artist Ellen Jewett refers to her sculptural work as “natural history surrealist sculpture,” a blend of plants, animals, and occasionally human-made structures or objects. Her artwork is deeply informed by an extensive background in anthropology, medical illustration, exotic animal care, and even stop-motion animation, all of which accentuate the biological structure of each piece, while freeing her imagination to pursue more abstract ideas.
Over time, Jewett has become more focused on minimizing materials and relying a negative space. “I find my sculptures are evolving to be of greater emotional presence by using less physical substance,” she shares. In addition, she eschews any potentially toxic mediums like paints, glazes, and finishes, opting to use more natural, locally-sourced materials. “This, unavoidably, excludes most of what is commonly commercially available, and has sent me on a journey of unique material combination and invention.” By employing these more uncommon materials, and leaving traces of fingerprints and other slight imperfections Jewett hopes her work leaves a more authentic impression.
Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, apply for our annual grant, and get exclusive access to interviews, partner discounts, and event tickets.