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Gill Elliott


I collect objects. Often these are simple forms that might be overlooked. Worn and humble, their beauty for me lies in their imperfections; the surface marks  that record the evanescence of life and passing of time. Made from natural materials, and shaped by the elements, they instill in me a sense of Wabi Sabi, an aesthetic rooted in the principles of Zen. By studying the scars, inclusions and patina of these objects I can gain a sense of how they were formed and shaped and how they are changing over time. No longer seeming small and insignificant, I obtain a sense of their place in the universe where all matter has come from nothing and will eventually go back to the same. 


Through the medium of paint I then explore the essence of these objects on canvas in an abstract and expressionistic way. I pour, spray, scratch and use tools to mark the surface, allowing pigment to react in a partly controlled but often random way. Marks are formed and reformed through repeated layering – echoing the layers of time taken to form the objects themselves. Sometimes I add materials that will themselves change over time, such as tar or ink, thus adding to the sense of impermanence.


The fascination I find in creating these paintings comes from taking the time to allowing pigment to flow and interact and being able to observe new forms being created. Coming from a scientific background, I am particularly interested in current thoughts on matter and the formation of the universe. My aim is to portray the sense of uncertainty and flux we have in our understanding in my paintings, which seem to start with almost nothing and through repeated changes and layering seem to end in just about everything.

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