Ellery Harkness (b. 1999, San Francisco, California) is an artist, designer, and art historian living in Brunswick, Maine. Through writing, studio work, and research, her practice examines the idea of collage as a way to explore contemporary conversations. She mostly works in painting, video installation, photography, and mixed media collage. Harkness is graduating from Bowdoin College in May with a degree in Visual Arts, Art History, and a minor in Political Science.
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I use art first and foremost to explore ideas and contemporary conversations in the world with a particular attunement to women’s experiences, consumerism, and the climate. Through various media, with a focus on video installations, painting, and college, I use my work to think through ideas I seek to explore and create conversations. I am currently excited by collage as a way to contrast various things to create new meanings. I also see the combination of abstract and the real as a way to extend the work of collage. I use collage through literal combining of source material and mixed media but also as a conceptual idea to open up contrasts between disparate things. My source material often comes from images I and others have taken rather than painting En plein air. I see painting as an extension of my video and photography work by situating source material in the realms of photo and video sources over reality. In this way, I seek to create a space where the viewer feels a sense of imbalance combined with curiosity.
Artist Ellery Harkness creates visual metaphors for contemporary conversations by mixing media to construct harmonious compositions reminiscent of collages and portraiture. On these compositions, Harkness introduces us to a new and refreshing view of consumerism, climate, and women’s experiences by, as well as presenting a unique and vibrant color pallet of oranges and blues that are particularly pleasing to the viewer. Harkness’s compositions demonstrate the artist craftsmanship on creating textures and attention to detail, as seen on her “Love in pixels” piece. On these four canvases, Harkness creates a single gesture that unifies different scenarios and textures: solid to liquid and emotionless to passionate. Harkness’s range on texture and hues merge to create the shadows on the skin of two lovers, the movement of the three branches, water, paint, and the reflection of a place on an imaginative ecosystem reflected on a car mirror, all of which leave an indelible mark on the viewer.