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E-L. Cartwright is a versatile contemporary artist and writer who works in various media, with series in oils and acrylic, as well as pen and watercolour illustrations. Self-taught in art, and having painted from childhood, she graduated from Hull University with a First Class degree in English Literature and Language, followed by post-graduate diplomas in Theatre and Journalism gained whilst studying in the Midlands and the North. Born in Sutton Coldfield, she now lives and works in Sussex. Her recent work includes a series of bold, symbolic, semi-abstract oil pastel and acrylic paintings, which employ one of her signature techniques of juxtaposed complementary colours and layered glazing effects over a bright tonal ground.
About her work: “My art is a place I can be free from the constraints of everyday life and enter a world of the imagination. Dreams and the subconscious provide a deep well of ideas, with the subjects of time, childhood, nature and mortality echoing throughout my work. Over the years, there have been several different thematic periods to my output, with a variety of media chosen according to my aims and interests at that time. In Vincent Dreams of Sunflowers, for instance, I favoured the delicacy of pen and watercolour to create detailed imagery rich in symbolism. By contrast, in a recent series of oil pastel and acrylic paintings, I employed bold colours and deliberate clean lines to convey meaning through shape and form. The hawk-like figure that occurs early on in my work reappears again, as do several familiar motifs including eyes and masks, reflecting my fascination with the seen and unseen. Of late – and with the discovery that my great-grandfather was a lithographic artist – I have become increasingly drawn to the process of printmaking. Preferring the starkly unadorned images achievable through relief printing techniques, I have expanded my portfolio to include a number of original linocuts.
As an admirer of William Blake, my painting and poetry often go hand in hand, their symbiotic relationship resulting in a number of combined projects that can stand together or alone. Ultimately, to me the blank canvas – like the empty page – represents endless possibilities for creation; here I can express and share alternative perceptions of life through visions, dark or dream-like, playful or thoughtful.”