Ella Shepard

Ella was assigned the story What Makes A Good Life.

I created a series of spontaneous drawings and I then went on to use a combination of the drawings and photographs to bring together ideas for the finished paintings. As the story I received had a few key points and themes I decided to explore the narrative by creating a collection of three paintings. 

Inspired by the undulating waves of change during the pandemic, the three paintings are fragments of memories which make up the bigger picture of the lockdown experience. The story explored the breakdown of living without a conventional routine and how to find happiness even through the darkest of times. I began by considering what the pandemic would look like, if I painted the psychological experience of it. By using this idea as a base for making I experimented with texture, colour and movement through materiality of paint, which formed a visual and emotional response to the story. Time played a strong part in how I approached each piece as I felt each piece had its own rhythm or inner-tempo in relation to the stage in the story.  Many people referred to living through lockdown as living in a blur, losing track of days and in the first piece ‘Holding onto…’ I really wanted to convey the overwhelming sense of chaos and loss of control. In contrast, I wanted ‘In-between the shadowed days’ to act as a lit corridor, a beacon of hope and a no-man’s land between isolated people and the fleeting moments of human connection. Finally, ‘Elizabeth’ I decided to sit within a more abstract and calm space, distanced from the previous two and purposefully faceless to allow anyone to project their personal experience of isolation on to hers.   

Ella Shepard | Website | Instagram

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