Peter Ellis, The Oyster Eye
August 11 - September 10 2011, Exhibition opening Saturday August 13th, 2-5pm
Peter Ellis has produced bizarre paintings, drawings, prints, objects and books for more than 35 years. He is known for his innovative use of animal imagery. He invents hybrid creatures that inhabit incongruous psychological spaces. This exhibition of recent works “The Oyster Eye,” with its rich, idiosyncratic and surreal imagery is informed by the revelatory power of drawing when it is automatic, spontaneous and a reflection of the spirit. This exhibition includes the series of large multi-paneled works on Japanese shikishi boards.
Ellis’s imagery has its origins in automatic drawing from the imagination that is often simultaneously intimate in scale, calligraphic and articulate. Strange animals, characters and abstracted forms are dredged from subconscious thoughts often without pre-conception. Through conscious analysis and research inspired by these drawings another layer of associated imagery from a wide variety of sources is created.
The works in the exhibition bristle with Chinese and Japanese landscape references and scientific apparatus perhaps suggestive of a science experiment gone wrong. A sense of mystery and metamorphosis pervades a scene waiting to be revealed. A cause and affect principal is in place. Things are changing. Everywhere there are fractures of imagery in scale, time and form, voids, disjunctions and connections. Some images disappear only to emerge unexpectedly elsewhere.
Ink, gouache, gold leaf on 48 shikishi
paper panels 162 cm x 192 cm © Peter Ellis.
Ink on Fabriano Artistico 640 gsm paper, 76 x 58 cm
© Peter Ellis.
The Bloomslang Experiment, 2008
Ink, gouache, gold leaf on 63 shikishi paper panels
216 cm x 264 cm © Peter Ellis.
Gamble against the spirit world, 2007
Ink, gouache, gold leaf on 54 shikishi paper panels
162 cm x 216 cm © Peter Ellis.