Former student’s first solo show aims to make ‘fine art’ more accessible
A North East artist and former student at The Northern School of Art‘s Middlesbrough campus is returning to Teesside for her first solo show which aims to make ‘fine art’ more accessible for everyone by breaking the ‘look but don’t touch’ rule of many galleries.
Ellie Brennan‘s show Fingers, Thumbs and the Spaces Inbetween, which is at Eston Arts Centre from 8 – 31 October, features a range of different objects including a number of brand new works she made during lockdown that visitors are invited to interact with.
The title of the exhibition alludes to how all the things that she makes are designed to be touched and played with. The exhibition will consist of a number of large crochet toys, a rug showing a can of Stella in an algae pond, a Sims rug and other food related tapestries and rugs, and a few other surprises.
Ellie’s work is a deeply personal exploration of memories and nostalgia, and aims to provide a therapeutic environment in these stressful times and she invites guests to interact freely with her pieces and create their own tactile experiences.
The artworks are made using a range of techniques, from traditional crochet, to industrial rug tufting, but Ellie always aims to create work that is accessible to everyone, and doesn’t shroud itself in complex art theory. Instead, she prefers to work with key memories from childhood and adolescence, and create pieces that hopefully resonate with a wider audience.
Ellie Brennan said, “Food and popular culture are two of my biggest starting points, with a lot of my inspiration coming from years working in hospitality, growing up in the North East, and coming of age in the time of the internet meme culture.
“I hope the show will spark some interesting conversations about the North East, the food, the people, and how we have all been affected by the state of the world at the moment.”
Ellie Brennan grew up between Stokesley and Stockton on Tees. She studied A Levels at CCAD (now The Northern School of Art) until 2016 and received a BA Fine Art from Manchester School of Art in 2019. She is a studio holder at DMZ New Islington in Manchester.
Ellie Brennan‘s show Fingers, Thumbs and the Spaces Inbetween is at Eston Arts Centre, 176-178 High Street, Eston, Middlesbrough, TS6 9JA from 8 – 31 October.
Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.