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Spectral Symphony

Featured Artist: Ella Etienne 

15 November 2023

Ella Etienne stands as a luminary explorer of the spiritual and otherworldly dimensions, seamlessly woven into the historical tapestry of the natural sublime. Her works delve into the paradoxical interplay between the immateriality of the spiritual and the tangible nature of the material world, presenting a captivating contrast within abstract forms that echo the traditions of landscape compositions.

Ella's paintings masterfully navigate the delicate balance between the spiritual and the material, creating a nuanced dialogue that transcends the conventional boundaries of artistic representation. Each brushstroke serves as a conduit, materialising the otherworldly in mystical scapes, only to be reclaimed by abstraction in a perpetual dance of creation and dissolution. The dichotomy of the spiritual and material is elegantly reflected in her oeuvre, where the immateriality of the spiritual meets the tangible, and vice versa, without sacrificing the essence of either.

The landscapes exude a familial ambiguity, inviting viewers into a dreamscape that is both recognisable and transcendent. Through lucid colors and transcendent forms, her creations evoke a reminiscent reverie - a place and moment that feels intimately close yet remains tantalisingly distant. Her artistic journey becomes a rhythmic interplay - a constant ebb and flow - where layers of paint, the interplay of light and colour, and the embrace of darkness converge to form a pulsating energy across the canvas. Celestial bodies pierce through the abstraction, infusing the ethereal with a soothing luminosity, resulting in works that possess a soulful vitality, an impressive life force resonating from within.

Let the Waves Wash Over, 2023, Oil on Canvas, 170 x 120cm

Amber Lights, 2023, 2023, Oil on Canvas, 170 x 120cm

The Light Broke Through, 2023, 2023, Oil on Canvas, 65 x 50cm

Evergreen Everglade, 2023, Oil on Canvas, 180 x 170cm

Images: ©Ella Etienne, courtesy of the artist


Ella Etienne is a painter based in South London who studied for a Bachelor in Fine Art at City and Guilds of London Art School and graduated with a second-class upper division in 2022. Working primarily in oil paint she explores the key themes of the sublime and its analogy with the spiritual. She combines the traditional inspiration of nature to convey the sublime and an abstract expressionistic approach to expand onto the concept that the physical is a vessel for the spiritual suggesting that the sublime cannot be surmounted in figuration and representational imagery and therefore must be explored further through the emotionality and the impulsivity of abstraction. Ella was the winner of the board of trustees prize in 2022 at CGLAS and her works were also a part of the 2021 interim show and 2022 degree show of CGLAS. 

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