Ellie Malin – Interview
Thank you to everyone who has popped in to see Ellie Malin’s exhibition ‘Moonflower’ since it opened. If you missed all the pics from the opening check them out here. We have decided to keep the show up for one last weekend so if you haven’t visited already, you still have a few more days to do so.
This week I caught up with Ellie and got a bit deep with her about her work and current exhibition. Thank you to Ellie for answering my questions with such thought and generosity. Can you believe her works take 1-3 months to complete! It’s fascinating to get a deeper understanding of what goes into Ellie’s work.
Ellie mixing inks in the studio.
How did you begin your journey as an artist and what attracted you to print making particularly?
Working in a creative field was something I always wanted to do. I loved to create. It always felt like the most natural place to be. Whether it was exploring the city through the lens of a camera or making objects out of clay, even when I wasn’t actively creating stuff I would be observing my immediate surroundings, absorbing and collecting bits of visual information along the way.
I particularly liked observing the world of architecture and nature and how we move through it. I’m fascinated with the impact and importance they have on our lives and had this idea that if I could translate the beauty and vulnerabilities that captured me and communicate them back to others, that would be the ultimate challenge and somehow, it involved becoming an artist! Printmaking seemed to offer the right kind of environment to explore those themes.
Other than loads of day dreaming and philosophizing life I went to school where I completed a Cert IV in Visual Arts at Holmseglen TAFE and went on to complete a B.A in Fine Art, majoring in printmaking at Monash Uni... there were a few other courses along the way whilst ‘trying’ out different careers. Ultimately and thankfully the art is where I was at!
Ellie's preparations in the studio. It looks fun doesn't it!
Can you explain a little about your process and methods or technique you use?
All my prints are created with traditional printmaking techniques and equipment and are unique states (one offs’). The work is very much process driven and mostly developed whilst working at the press. I like to experiment with colour and tend to work spontaneously and respond to whatever’s happening on the page. Images are built up in layers over time where I’ll revisit any one print numerous times over time (generally 1-3 months, depending on the scale of the piece). I have a couple of favorite presses that I love to work on, particularly the large Hilton etching press. I’m willing to travel near and far to work on these machines. More recently I was fortunate to work in Canberra at Megalo studio and back home I’m usually printing at the APW on Gertrude St.
The printmaking process (in a nutshell) involves mixing colours, rolling up woodblock plates with inks, setting the press, laying out shapes on the press bed according to whatever configuration feels right at the time, paper comes down and then roll it through the press… There’s a whole lot of clean up that follows not to mention lots of experimenting and developing ideas!
Ellie at the press working on one of her smaller geometric series.
What are some of the influences hat inspire your work, and the themes which you have drawn upon?
I’m influenced by the everyday, streets I walk in, people I meet, design, architecture, travels, plus a good dose of daydreaming.
My process is spontaneous yet reflective at the same time. I tend to think a lot about colours and almost meditate on it before taking a print to the next state/layer. I present myself with a ‘problem’, which needs to be resolved. It’s so easy to make mistakes, but over time I’ve found that through the mistakes I also make the greatest discoveries.
Some artists and designers that I love in no particular order are: Kiki Smith, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, Yayoi Kusama, Scholten and Baijings, Marimekko, Mirka Mora, Tadao Ando, Fornasetti, Japanese woodblock artists, … should I keep going?
Ellie making magic with one of the smallest presses she uses.
What is the inspiration for this current show "Moonflower”?
Moonflower is an exhibition of colourful woodblock prints depicting an inspired landscape of ‘other worlds’. The beauty of nature, the man made, and a fascination for impurities within it sparks the imagination.
In this body of work offcut shapes of paper are the starting point and are transformed into woodblocks for printing. These shapes become centre stage as the relationship between them is explored through layers of colours and textures.
Remnants, which once would have been discarded are now the stars, moon and sky and are telling a story about what might exist beyond the familiar.
Soft tones of blues and grey speak of a cirrus sky while painterly gardens of aqua marine greens and citrus orange speak of growth and light. Stories unfold over time and new discoveries made between the layers of tones and negative spaces.
Detail of one of Ellie's most recent works currently on exhibition at Modern Times.
What collaborations or projects outside your usual practice have you worked on?
The most significant collaboration to date would have to be with my all time favorite (and I’m not just saying it) fashion label gorman!
Lisa Gorman came across my work online and before I knew it we were sitting together with the gorman crew talking about art and fashion. The collaboration seemed like the most natural thing to do. I feel that we have complementing sensibilities and I wear her clothing all the time! I love that my art can be carried through into new realms of every day life and that my prints wouldn’t be confined to a frame but possibly a floaty dress.
I think there’s a lot to be said about the collaboration process. It’s an inspiring process that combines different skill sets and allows for creativity to evolve and be transferred into new realms and I can’t wait to do more of these working in different fields!
Ellie at work
Ellie's current exhibition at Modern Times, 'Moonflower', is on until Sunday.
Ellie’s first solo show ‘Moonflower’ is on at Modern Times until Sunday 8th Dec. It’s a must see!
Interviews, Modern Times News, Art
Modern Times Pop-Up Shop 3. Wow!
I can't believe we are about to launch pop-up number 3. Amazing! We have got a fantastic space and a truckload (a very very large truck!) of new vintage pieces from Denmark.
Now...how could a room chock-full of vintage Danish furniture possibly be improved? ...By adding the work of 50 contemporary Australian artists and designers!
We have gone from having around 10 artists at the first pop-up to now having 50! I am really passionate about this side of the business. Every artists work excites me and inspires me in some way and I think it is fabulous to bring it together with this beautiful furniture. So who are they?? Well, I'll save listing them all for later and start with a couple of new artists we have on board who I am particularly excited about. I discovered the work of Julian Martin and Warren O'Brien through Arts Project Australia.
Julian's creates these flattened graphic compositions which are given amazing depth and character through his use masterly of pastel. The surface of Julian's work is built up meticulously to create an almost velvet like texture. The photo really doesn't do his work justice but they are so beautiful. Modern Times is lucky enough to be hanging a number of Julian's work both large and small. Warren O'Brien, on the other hand, has a far looser style. Warren's paintings are these expressionist colour studies with a sense of movement and intensity that is quite captivating. Warren's repetitive use of the arc motif creates layers of 'windows' that you can look through to see the different layers of texture and colour. It's pretty different to the graphic stuff we've had before but I think they are going to work so well the mid-century furniture. Check out these examples...
Wow, already such a long post and I've only spoken about two artists. Ok, moving right along... Ellie Malin has some gorgeous new work, referencing mountains this time, but still with her signature use of colour, shape, and bold use of white space.
It seems mountains are a bit of a theme at the moment. Liesl Pfeffer has been so kind to arrange getting some of her works to us even though she now lives in New York! Thanks Liesl! Liesl's photo-media collages have the impact of a bold graphic image but need close inspection to reveal the whole story.
Liesl Pfeffer, The Mountains Wait, Archival pigment ink on Hahnemuhle paper, 50 x 50 cm, edition of 10, 2009
Works by Belinda Suzette, Nani Puspasari, Madeleine Stamer, Ghostpatrol, Sandra Eterovic and Darren Henderson are more on the illustrative side. A number of these artists also produce open edition digital prints which make building your art collection that little bit easier and they make great gifts too.
Clockwise from top: Nani Puspasari, Nature, Ink and thread on paper | Belinda Suzette, The Viking, digital print | Darren Henderson, Various owls, Spray enamel on wood
I can't sign off without posting a pic of Kate Banazi's work. It's packed with punch and it is beautifully framed by bespoke framers United Measures. This is one of the works we have available.
Whilst all these artists do represent a visual variety, they all complement the mid-century/vintage/retro/modernist aesthetic. I hope you pop in and see the shop for yourself.
This is the full list:
ART | Belinda Suzette | Carolyn Hawkins | Darren Henderson | Eleanor Voterakis | Ellie Malin | Ghostpatrol | Julian Martin | Julie Paterson | Kate Banazi | Liesl Pfeffer | Madeleine Stamer | Nani Puspasari | Draw!Pilgrim | Sandra Eterovic | Tiel Seivl-Keevers | Tim Gresham | TwoOne | Warren O'Brien
HOMEWARES | Ella Schwartz | FromWoopWoop | Funky Wombat Textiles | Luscious Jungle | Odds and Ends | Ouchflower | Patchy Rugs | Penelope Hunt | Pom by Pomegranate | RetroPrintRevival | Stämpel | Treehorn Design
GLASS | Phillip Stokes
CERAMICS | Adriana Christianson | Christopher Plumridge | Ingrid Tufts | Sophie Harle | Tara Shackell
JEWELLERY/ACCESSORIES | And O Design | Dani M | Emily Green | Lucy Hearn | Tailfeather
SCULPTURE | Peter McLisky
Modern Times News, Art
I am so excited about this post....can you tell? I want to introduce these beautiful graphic prints by Adelaide design studio cul-de-sac. Art director and graphic designer, Marco Cicchianni, has created these limited edition prints taking inspiration from Danish design, Italian style and the punch of Pop Art. What an awesome combination!
You may well have heard of them before today...Since launching the series in May this year, the cul-de-sac prints have been featured on some of my favourite design blogs such as Design Milk and Design Sponge and most recently were in House and Garden magazine AND Marie Claire! These prints add fantastic visual impact to any interior at a mighty 841 x 1189cm!
So, it is not without a little bit of pride that I'm telling you - cul-de-sac prints will be hanging on the walls of Modern Times Pop-Up2. It is the first time the prints will be seen in Melbourne so come in once we launch to get the full impact of these large scale prints. They are limited edition too so once they are gone, they are gone!
Art, Modern Times News
Ellie Malin and her famous balloons...
Ellie's gorgeous balloon prints have created quite a splash. Even before they were pictured in a feature on Modern Times on The Design Files, everyone who came into the shop was drawn to these striking yet calming artworks. At 120 x 80cm they are the biggest linocuts I have come across!
Ellie hand mixes her own colours (she has a wonderful eye for colour!) and prints them herself on what must be a very large press. Ellie has actually created her own unique linocut technique which I won't give away but I can tell you she uses 100% cotton rag paper from Italy which feels heavy and luxurious with the best quality archival inks. These oil based inks means Ellie's work takes about a week to dry. The two we had hanging were snapped up pretty quickly but it didn't stop everyone asking about them.
The good news is we have just received three more prints hot off the press. You better be quick!
Me holding up a fresh print!
Art, Modern Times News