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Eleanor Wood


Stillness 2024

At first glance, Eleanor Wood’s recent works appear to have a strong affinity with minimalist or post-minimalist art. However, they are distinct in being acutely tactile and open-ended,evoking wide-ranging haptic and visual associations that give the work a poetic sense of age and wear. This quality is reinforced by the fact that support and medium are so thoroughly fused that it is all but impossible to distinguish them: forms appear to float at an implied but immeasurable distance in front of the surface, while simultaneously being woven into the support. Titles reflect the artist’s preoccupation with boundaries and divisions.


To create her works, highly diluted watercolour is first applied to the back of a sheet of paper in superimposed layers, each being allowed to dry before another is added. Because of the highly absorbent nature of the particular paper used, the paint soaks through to appear on the front, forming a soft, blurred edge around a central geometric form. The relationship between the back and the front of the work is further established by pinpricks, which are used in addition to pencil marks to demarcate and divide, and to develop an internal structure, after which a coating of wax and workings with oilbar are added to the front. The wax sits on top of the paper but can appear to be both in front and behind the rectangle at the centre, while the colour of the oil paint often looks ambiguous, hovering between two different hues.


The works evoke associations with pages and writing, with the structure of cloth, and sometimes with aerial views and plans, as if the viewer was looking down from above or from a distance. Typically made in series and exhibited in groups, they are quiet and subtle, but are also bound by an insistent geometry.

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