2023 BA → Ellen Buttanshaw

Ellen Buttanshaw

Buttanshaw, E. 1
Everybody's watching her, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 2 m x 2.5 m, 2022
My practice this year has primarily involved oil and acrylic painting, while also having explored screen-printing and collaging for experimental means. The pieces I have created centralise young people in atmospheric settings indicative of student nightlife. I am particularly interested in conveying ambiguous dynamics between characters that may spark familiarity or intrigue in the observer.
My portraits are not sourced from traditional sittings, but from collages of transient happenings that would have been forgotten by the subjects. I am drawn to visually exposing a sensation of freedom in scenes reflective of fleeting impermanence. Young adulthood is full of these as a time of possibilities and newfound independence. A tension is observable in my work between the assumed invisibility of these moments and my, as well as the viewers, surveillance of them as an artwork.
The dramatic application of colour and light in my compositions illustrate this imbalance between privacy and exhibition, as well as creating an emotive ambience suggestive of an unknown, mysterious narrative.
Buttanshaw, E. 2
The Highlights, Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 46 cm x 56 cm, 2023
Buttanshaw, E. 3
Untitled, screen print on paper, 42 x 59.4cm, 2022
Buttanshaw, E. 3A
Untitled, screen print on paper, 42 x 59.4cm, 2022