My ART | Artist: Ella Sutherland

Artist: Ella Sutherland

Artist: Ella Sutherland

What images are pinned to your studio wall?

Between notes scrawled on butcher’s paper and the coming and going of works there is: photocopies from the back catalogue of Wicked Women, a SM serial produced in Sydney from the late 1980s; illuminated letters from the Bodleian Libraries; reproductions of Chrissy Witoko’s Evergreen Coffee House collages, and a small plaque from Agatha Gothe-Snape which reads “Emotional Wall”.

The first artwork that made an impact on you?

Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s paper stack works made from 1989 have always stuck with me. The way that they cycle from monumental, to ephemeral, and back again while navigating various public / private and political / poetical thresholds offers such a beautiful wave of queer futurity.

What’s next for you?

I’m currently working on a suite of monotype prints commissioned by UNSW Galleries for an upcoming show on queer kinship, a billboard series for Te Tuhi and a number of publication contributions. I’m also looking forward to showing a recently completed series of paintings with Sumer Contemporary Art at some point over the coming months.

In October, I’m moving to Berlin to begin development on a body of work focussed on the impact of censorship on communication at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien as part of the Creative New Zealand Visual Arts Residency. As with everything though, this may shift depending with the uncertainty of the current moment.

What are you reading?

I’m reading emails, PDFs, love letters, news; My Emily Dickinson by Susan Howe and Johanna Drucker’s The Alphabetic Labyrinth (both of which have informed the spirit of recent work; Orlando for lightness), and Claudia Roden’s A Book of Middle Eastern Food for warmth.

What is art for?

Art offers potential, a site for exchange that the usual rhythm of life doesn’t provide for.

April 2020
Ella Sutherland is represented by Sumer, Tauranga.
Photo: Sarah Rodigari