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'Loss-' - Lasting Catharsis

As the culmination of a years sculptural and installation-based practice  came to a close. I was offered my first solo show at ArcadeCardiff to showcase a new conceptual project, one in which I utilised a full exhibition as a singular piece of Installation Art. 'Loss-' came at a time where a year of negative events, grief and loss were transmuted into this emotionally-charged and intrinsically personal body of therapeutic work.

'Ethan’s artistic practice is given weight by a pervading sense of implicit context; of stories unwritten, hesitant to be told. Attention is drawn instead to the feelings – often tense or uncomfortable – that the atmosphere of a story can leave one encumbered with. Ethan chooses to create such atmospheres in his artworks by harnessing the mundane and spiritual resonance of objects and materials, and by exacerbating the tension that often sparks between these materials. He also plays with the very human tendency to recognise certain forms and gestures in static objects and give them life in our mind’s eye.

A metal ladder bent and twisted into a writhing creature is simultaneously shattered and splinted by a wooden spear. At the same time, a heavy chain once strained and taut lies limp in a weary coil. The power and purpose of the iron links is forgotten, and instead one finds themselves reminded of a serpent, deep in slumber.

There are occasions too when an artwork is so evidently weighted by personal memories and private thoughts, that it might not seem our place to ask any questions of the narrative. We strain to see ourselves stare back at us in a mirror that has been tarnished over and over with marks of every kind, each obscuring the one inscribed beneath. There is a sense of expression smothered by self-critique, yet at the same time an eagerness to hide from the cold clarity of such reflection.

Ethan is an artist overwhelmed by the creative need to interpret his world despite such preoccupations, and references to his surroundings and past experiences can be found in abundance by those who know where to look. He knows that once revealed, his art is no longer his own to nurture, and it is left to us to imbue it with life. He has no desire to draw a map for anyone, however. It is our task to navigate our own way through, making of it what we can, and feeling what we feel along the way.'


   -  Jamie Stevenson, 2017.

'The Valley' 2017

'The Valley' 2017

Burnt Artworks (every artwork made in my home in the Valleys; 2013-2016), Steel Frame

'Dissipate' 2017

'Dissipate' 2017

Ladder, Industrial Slag, Stains, Cloth.

'The Valley' (detail) 2017

'The Valley' (detail) 2017

Burnt Artworks (2013 - 2016), Steel Frame.

'Grief' 2017

'Grief' 2017

Five of Cups Tarot Card (Grief), Drawing.

'Transience' 2017

'Transience' 2017

Mixed MEdia; Pollen, Dust, Ash, Growth, Energy, Criticism, Mirror from Childhood Home.

'Doves (For my Mother)' 2017

'Doves (For my Mother)' 2017

Lilies, Water, Growth, Painkillers, Vase.

'I Can't Help Myself (The Death of)' 2017

'I Can't Help Myself (The Death of)' 2017

Emergency Blanket, Knife, Stains, Bible Pages, Marker.

'God Doesn't Care' (detail) 2017

'God Doesn't Care' (detail) 2017

Arrow, Twisted Ladder, Bandages, Silk, Wine, Stains, Blood.

'God doesn't Care' 2017

'God doesn't Care' 2017

Arrow, Twisted Ladder, Bandages, Silk, Wine, Stains, Blood.

'Emperor'

'Emperor'

Vinyl, Gold Paint, Fingerprint, Marker.

'Orouboros (The Death of)'

'Orouboros (The Death of)'

Chain, Rust, Wool, Arrows, Cushion.

'Rites of Passage' (Detail) 2017

'Rites of Passage' (Detail) 2017

Marker, Blood.

'Doves (For My Mother)'  & 'Splint/The Fall'

'Doves (For My Mother)' & 'Splint/The Fall'

A Through Shot of the Exhibition

A Through Shot of the Exhibition

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'Orouboros (The Death of)'

'Orouboros (The Death of)'

Chain, Rust, Wool, Arrows, Cushion.

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'Dissipate' 2017

'Dissipate' 2017

Ladder, Industrial Slag, Sheet, Stains.

'I Dreamt About You Last Night' 2017

'I Dreamt About You Last Night' 2017

Hooks, Chains, Rock, Weight.

'Rites of Passage' 2017

'Rites of Passage' 2017

Handbasin, Razor Blade, Blood, Potassium Ferricyanide Crystals, Marker.

'Splint/The Fall' 2017

'Splint/The Fall' 2017

Twisted Ladder, Homemade Spear, Braided wool.

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