Clay Ellis: Flats, Tropes, Rondos

19 November - 10 December 2022

“The cake is in the coffee tin marked tea” One of my mothers lines, an example of

depression era resourcefulness. Her habit of attaching a history (or sometimes a

personality) to an object was entirely something else. Perhaps a result of knowing that

every doorknob, latch, newel post, or banister in her childhood home was handmade by

her father. And it all looked handmade, the scale and feel of the objects was set by the

tools on hand or the materials available, everything had that character, looking like it

was from some other time or place, a constant reminder of his efforts. By necessity he

was frugal but I have a feeling that his desire to fabricate (rather than buying cheap

or used) was rooted in something else.


I seem to have inherited both afflictions . . . so I make all of the found objects I use.

I fabricate a repertoire of images and forms, kept long enough to lose the preciousness

of the newly made . . . either easily useable or disposable. While some stay connected

to the spirit in which they were first realized, with the images used time and time again,

others are in a constant state of refinement. Some are derived from process itself, with

repetition or replication, certain marks become standards . . . riffs of sort.

This exhibition presents a number of pieces from several series, each representing a

work method that allows me to sort, arrange, and compile, these images, objects, and

riffs, with a freedom that I haven’t experienced in some time.


Opening reception November 24: 7-9 pm