Ella creates installations, sculptures, and costumes centered on the theme of haptic touch - the relationship between sight and touch. The work is informed by research into the science and psychology of touch from the macro to the micro; from touch therapies and sensory rooms to the workings of touch receptors in the brain and the ‘tactile’ quality of cells through a microscope. She is specifically interested in kinesthetic learning; learning through bodily movement and creating opportunities for tangible interactions between audience and artwork. The intention is to promote touch as a ‘visual tool’ and as the key sense used when engaging with my sculptures and installations.
During the residency, Ella will make a cylinder-shaped soft 'chair'. It will be made as tubes of bright pink latex, stuffed with wadding and covered in short blunt rubbery spikes.
Ella says: “I want to exhibit the sculptures to see public interaction with my work. I'm curious about how people interact and perceive these strange alien shapes. I want to make colourful and playful sculptures that have the same pallet as marshmallow sweets, nursery toys and textiles. These sickly-sweet colours will attract vision and feeling. I'm hoping that the harmless and innocent colours of the sculptures will make the odd textures and surfaces palatable; 'sugar-coating' unfamiliar surfaces and materials, making them intriguing.”
“I see this becoming an installation that welcomes the audience to sit and feel the work. Hopefully, audience members would unconsciously begin feeling the rubbery spikes whilst they sit and relax on the latex chairs. The texture of the sculpture came from a photo of a spiky nineteenth-century bear hunting outfit, acupuncture therapies, how starfish walk and 3d cellular images. My practice focuses on public engagement for all communities driven by creating tactile, playful, fun and humorous occasions to encounter sculpture.”