A series of more than 20 landscapes that capture the island’s natural elements and their transformation with the ever-changing light and sky is the latest body of work by Ellie Baker to go on display.
An entire painting may be structured around a vivid flash of colour once seen, while her layered mixed media approach lends itself to depicting the many facets of the outstanding natural environment that surrounds us.
Each piece is an exploration in the subtleties of hue and texture – some works are very ethereal with only limited colour shift across the scene and others have a bolder application of paint, resulting in a strong sense of place and identity.
Ellie works with acrylic paint, oil pastels and pencil to build a certain sense of the island into each piece.
She told Island Life: ‘I begin working on pieces for a collection and a theme starts to emerge naturally and I build on it from there. I find that working this way allows me to create more freely and without restriction.
‘It also alludes to the infinite ways in which the island presents itself as the seasons and the weather cycle through.’
Her pieces are shaped by being outside in nature.
‘The stillness, interrupted only by the grass rustling in the breeze, or the plaintive cry of a lone bird as it flies overhead, or an insect buzzing past,’ she said.
Asked what she thought made the island’s landscape such a rich source of inspiration, she said: ‘We have the opportunity here to be able to listen to the wildlife without the noise of industry and to see the wild plants flourish without pollution.
‘We have the chance to notice that colour, texture, change in season.
‘We also have tremendous variety in the scenery and wildlife that’s packed into the island.’
Ellie has a foundation diploma in fine art from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design in London.
Since her last exhibition in the island, Ellie has had a number of works accepted in the UK including with The Royal Cambrian Academy open exhibition 2023 in Conwy and Figurative Art Now with Mall Galleries in London.
Ellie also received a commendation from Explorers Against Extinction for a drawing which detailed endangered moss growing near an old Manx lead mine.
And she recently completed two pieces commissioned by the Isle of Man Steam Packet for inclusion in the art collection of its new vessel Manxman.
The exhibition opened on Sunday afternoon. Ellie said: ‘I’m delighted to be able to stand in Studio 42 and look at each piece individually and then at how they work together to form a collection. Each piece has something different for the viewer to experience whilst still belonging to the overall body of work.’
Studio 42 is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm, and Saturday, 10am to 4pm.