Studio Visit with Ellie Hannon
She sits with bare feet on a retro, orange, vinyl chair, swinging side to side as she invites me in. Not that you have to go in, Ellie's studio is kind of "out" already. She has set herself up in the shed out the back of her very cute, yellow, weather board house in Newcastle. The shed is perfect for painting with its large roller door that floods the room with natural light.
Stacked very neatly into shelves at the back of the shed are remnants of Ellie's history and extensive travels. Old furniture, second hand picture frames, wall paper, thread, battered saucepans and colanders, as well as a large box of rusted nuts and bolts are just some of the things you can find in Ellie's treasure chest amongst the boxes of acrylic paint, water colour stacks and spray cans.
A master of many mediums, Ellie's practice has always involved the re-invention of "junk" into amazing structural sculptures like this Carousel we displayed earlier this year at The Corner Store Gallery.
But her primary medium is painting. Layers and layers of pattern and detail are built up incorporating other mediums such as chalk pastel to add texture to the pieces. The influence of her recent Indonesian adventure is apparent in the style of the faces and the characters she portrays. Her style is as carefree and airy as her personality, and it's easy to see how you can maintain that spirit in a studio like this where rosellas perch only metres from the artist in a palm tree "outside" her shed.
Ellie's practice has moved to Newcastle Community Art Centre since this shoot....