Ellie Dent

"My work is concerned with using scientific imagery as a means to discuss mental illness. I illustrate broader conversations of well versus unwell and how our bodies are growing and simultaneously dying. Well and unwell both occur simultaneously in my paintings to discuss what it means to be cured of an illness. The concept of the “chemical veil,” a political term used to describe pharmaceuticals prescribed to disguise illness instead of curing the problem, is seen in the attractive and repulsive nature of my work.

I create intimate, jewel-like objects that often reference various scientific disciplines in mediums, surfaces, tools, and compositions. I use a variety of translucent water based materials to create dense layers of interactions between microscopic images such as cells, synapses, hormones, fungi, and bacteria. Willfully uncontrolled pours of fluid acrylic provide a slippery, moveable surface for my cell-like structures to live. I use additive materials to create textural differences and use faux jewels and glitter to beautify disease ridden areas. The additive perfect circles are referential to Euclidian geometry as a representation of psychological medication. They are synthetic in color, pure in shape, non-organic, and diagrammatic in placement. These circles are flat and floating, forcefully seeping into the space as if they don't belong, creating an uncomfortable, foreign interaction. Synapses and connecting axons act as pathways to carry and disperse hormones into a diseased area. The space in which all these microscopic images are living is in constant bloom and replication."


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