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Ella Clocksin is a research- and project-led artist, based in Oxford.
A cross-disciplinary background in literature and as a psychotherapist informs her interest in the coming-into-being of perception - the point between unknown, and known.
The sense that some experiences are before or beyond words, is dominant in her work, because art has always been about navigating life's deeper waters.
Clocksin’s practice is based around 'the inarticulate moment, charged with meaning’, that quickening sense of something happening, before words arise, or beyond language altogether - at the back of the mind, on the tip of the tongue. Something sensed or glimpsed, but just out of sight, or beyond recall.
This growing edge of realisation is both the subject and the process of the work. Figurative
visual depiction could illustrate the physical context - the wrapper - of such pre-verbal experiences, but not the core.
The degree of abstraction in her work speaks of a texture of experience termed poetry/poetics. The ancient root word is poesis: literally, coming-into-being.
The paintings result from a sub-verbal interplay between external visual cues, and improvised mark-making, erasures and additions, until they settle into resolved abstract form.
Their visual language is generated by the intersection of external and interior landscapes, at the borders between language and the body’s sensory perception.
This visual language includes veils of translucent watercolour and acrylic, and screens of script-like notations, which obscure clear seeing and resist identification. Marks in the landscape from human activity, pattern-like striations in nature, and the enveloping soundscape all underlie the script-like elements. Random movements in drying paint, and cutting, tearing and collage further disrupt the literal, and create new relationships between forms.
The work always develops from observation to abstraction, and elements of visual perception linger in the paintings' colours and forms. Occasionally, figurative drawing returns as part of the process, because it re-calibrates the visual senses, but her work has long shown more interest in the things we can't see than things we can.
Alongside her studio practice, she teaches painting in imaginative, experimental workshops, combining both contemporary and traditional approaches.
Ella's formal art training was at Oxford Brookes University and Winchester School of Art, where she completed her MA Fine Art (distinction) in 2010, and taught life drawing the following year. She was until recently Visual Arts Therapist at the innovative School of Life, London.
bear stories - Ella Clocksin