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The Unknown Land

In “All my story objects come together”, Ella brings the objects of her idealised and actualised self together in jarring coexistence. Paintings, notebook pages, clay sculptures, and iridescent ornaments are soiled by “abject readymades”: food waste and debris collected at the bottom of her bag, medical documents browned and furling at the edges, and items deformed by used gum. These story objects, rendered hopeless and defunct by their placement in squalor, document false memories and fictitious spin offs of her actual experiences in an act of mourning for the ‘possible selves’ Ella could have embodied if she had been well. Diorama - like clay figures are avatars of her daydreams, often curled up in the foetal position and engaging in moments of cathartic rest or interpersonal intimacy, both of which Ella craved during turbulent and illness-riddled isolation. Notebook pages detail plans never realised. A readymake book on the ancient world has been retitled: “A story of the version of myself that went to Grace’s party.”

The installation borrows from the compositional logic of both a shrine, to imply impossible iterations of self, deceased, affectionately and woefully remembered, and a domestic bookshelf, to imply a reverential affection for these figures as if they were real. This illogical amalgamating of tone is a feature of Ella’s dreamscape.

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