Ellen Mitchell Finnigan
My practice has developed from an interest in the found object and museum-esque collections like Renaissance Cabinets of Curiosities.
Collectors are compulsive, building up amalgamations of objects. My own collecting was sparked as a child when I would, at my parents’ despair, pick up pebbles from the beach; attracted by aesthetics like shape, smoothness, colour and pattern until there were crates worth being hoarded. There is an artistic archaeology to be uncovered through ‘readymade’ objects and my interest lies in those that tell stories that are intrinsically linked to myself; childhood collections of curiosities like fossils, familial and ancestral items, and objects I have excavated from the earth or taken from my homeland.
The physical earth holds significance for me. My ceramics focus on the use of the literal clay we are shaped from, the use of my hands, reacting to found objects, and responses to the environment of my homeland, using the elements of fire and earth together to create a domestic vessel. The aim of the work is to raise the status of these objects into art through their display as curious artefacts in a gallery space, by an artist.
Secretary of LSU Fever, 2014-16