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Title

Evensong


Artist

Rachel Ellis

Australia

1967 -


About

Rachel Ellis is highly regarded for the subtle geometry of her drawings of urban subjects – interiors, inner city backyards and rooftops.

'Evensong' is a prayer to the power of light and nature as experienced in the suburban everyday. Intensely personal, the setting for this drawing is the view to neighbours' houses on Durham and Havannah Streets, Bathurst, over the side fence of the artist's house. However the real focus of attention is the weathered fence and two trees, one lopped (or amputated) to a tall stump, the other reaching upwards, feather-like, into the bright afterglow of late afternoon light.

Light to dense layers of charcoal worked well into the grain of heavy drawing paper, have created a bold chiaroscuro and a rich tactile graphic surface. The drawings of Lloyd Rees and Seurat come to mind, but also something of the spirit of Samuel Palmer and Frederick Griggs.

Rachel Ellis, a devout Christian, won the Blake Prize in 1996 with a powerful drawing of the washing of Christ's feet. 'Evensong' clearly has spiritual undertones - the slender feathered tree at the centre of the composition evokes the Christian cross and the ascension of Christ, the lopped tree arching towards it, one of the robbers' crosses as part of the Crucifixion.


Details


Place where the work was made

Bathurst New South Wales Australia


Date

2011


Media category

Drawing


Materials used

charcoal on paper


Dimensions

111.0 x 99.0 cm sheet; 124.7 x 112.2 x 6.0 cm


Credit

Thea Proctor Memorial Fund 2012


Location

Not on display


Accession number

6.2012


Dobell Prize for Drawing (discontinued)

- 2011


Artist information

Rachel Ellis

Works in the collection

3


Place

Where the work was made
Bathurst

Shown in 3 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 3 publications

Bibliography


Christopher Allen, The Australian, ‘Nuanced works draw on the disciplined imagination’, pg. 13, Canberra, 19 Dec 2011, 13.

Hendrik Kolenberg, Contemporary Australian Drawing: 20 years of the Dobell Prize for Drawing, ‘Introduction’, pg. 6-14, Sydney, 2012, 11, 65 (illus.), 79.

Jill Sykes (Editor), Look, Sydney, Apr 2012, 21 (illus.).