Elie’s studio will be open to the public on Sunday, May 1 from 11 AM to 5 PM.
Whittemore–CCC, 7 Rockaway Road, Oldwick, NJ 08858
Parenting and career rendered my creative practice nearly non-existent for decades until a crisis inspired a new body of work exploring intergenerational trauma. That work became the centerpiece of “Nature/Nurture,” an exhibition I curated of six generations of artists in my family at M Galleries. While previously hand-painted photography was my medium, this new work was primarily sculptural, made of natural materials found on walks and inspired by nature where I take refuge from the world and am alone with thoughts that directly inform the work.
From that point forward I prioritized my practice and carved out more time for it. I have been actively exhibiting over the past three years and in 2020 my first solo exhibition, “The Great Beyond,” took place. This was an audiovisual installation exploring what happens when we die, inspired by the death of my own father. Last year, “Wishful” took place. The title referenced my wishful or magical thinking represented by work created during the pandemic. A series of talismans and magic wands were inspired by my first visit to The Met when it reopened after a prolonged COVID closure, and my desire for things to be other than they were. In the center of the gallery I created a large circular installation or Mandala comprised of bark, sand, stones, and other objects collected on my wanderings. For the past year I have been drawn to the circle as form and process.
Driven by a deep connection to nature, interest in ecology, the environment, and non-traditional and non-exclusionary ways to present and experience art, I have started creating site specific work in public parks using materials found on site. This work is accessible to anyone who visits the park, anonymous, cannot be commodified, and is not obviously “art.” Beginning in spring 2022 I will create four seasons of site specific environmental work at Whittemore – Community, Culture & Conservation, a 180-acre preserve in Oldwick, NJ which will allow me to go much deeper into this type of work.