Ellen Scobie is an artist whose work engages both digital and hand-built processes to re-imagine the material world. She uses digital tools to disintegrate photographic representations of materiality using the resultant artifacts to describe new spaces. Her figurative sculpture explores how the body reacts to internal and external forces.
As we live our lives increasingly mediated through digital devices, our material world is delivered to us in immaterial form. I look for the poetry in digitized shapes to describe lived experience.
The smallest unit of life is a cell, the building block of all living things. Each cell contains the cell genome, or DNA, which stores information. In reproduction, DNA is replicated and passed on to offspring so linking generations: each subsequent generation carries the DNA of its forebears.
These digital drawings and paintings are the offspring of my photography. I capture the world in digital photographs and scanned objects to record images in pixels. Each pixel is a capsule of information analogous to a cell containing DNA. I use these cells of information as building blocks, recombining pixels from a myriad of images to create something new.
I reference both the built environment and the landscape around me. I often begin by working with familiar images of trees, underbrush and vegetation from around where I live. I extricate from these images the formal qualities I need for my composition — a crooked branch becomes a drawn line, a patch of sky a colour field. Out of the layering of branches, root tangles, boulders and scribbles begins to emerge figurative markings with emotive associations. Twigs scrape out an undeciphered babble; bulbous and knotted shapes become the embodiment of feeling. Amorphous forms hover in a luminous, fragile space; others lay down a psychological tattoo.