VIDEO PREMIERE: Ellen Rutt's "This Must Be the Place" Finds Life in the Balance
I'm here and you're here, so This Must Be The Place. Ellen Rutt's "place paintings" call attention to the interconnectivity of earth's complex systems. By tracing elements from the physical environment and evaluating overlooked aspects of architecture to dictate the composition and textures. Through the physicality of her process-driven approach, she intimately kneads urgency for climate action into her work. This Is The Place opens at Playground Detroit on July 20th, 2019.
This series of paintings reflects the complex balance of navigating society and the natural world, examining the politics of access and belonging. Improvisational mark-making gathered from the environment lays the groundwork for each piece, then camoflauged by Rutt's contained shapes to create layers of control and turbulence. Often, the resulting painting resembles a collage composed of clean and chaotic, textural and flat color– reflecting the dichotomies within human-made and natural environments. Rutt confronts her own hypocrisy in order to envision a future centered on, green capitalism, as well as social justice.
“Making paintings in this way mirrors the daily process of synthesizing experiences into stories, and by extension, create identity. These experiences leave imprints; and as human beings, we craft narratives, make connections, then decide which ones to get rid of or what is worth keeping. How much of each place do I continue to let have a presence in the painting? What do we leave, and what do we let show through?” –Ellen Rutt