An exhibition of new sculptures by sculptor Jason Ellis, his first solo exhibition with the Gallery.
Having worked for over twenty years in conservation, Ellis was working on the restoration of a monument by John van Nost the Younger in the crypt of Christ Church Cathedral and was especially moved by the carving of the left forearm of the grieving female. He reflected on how the artist had captured perfectly a human emotion and set it, literally, in stone. This inspired the artist to enquire further into the power of individual ‘disfigured’ moments in art. In his research he studied many works including Christ’s right arm in Michelangelo’s Rondanini Pietá, Marat’s right arm in David’s ‘Death of Marat’ and various fragments from Greek and Roman antiquity. These observations took the artist from the purely abstract forms of his earlier practice to the detailed, yet abstracted, figuration of the human forms that comprise this body of work.
In Corpus, the viewer is confronted with familiar body parts that are dismembered, abstracted from the whole, but at the same time, exquisite objects hewn from natural stone, typically Kilkenny limestone, Bath stone and Carrara marble. And, as with all sculpture of the human figure, the viewer inevitably focuses on his own mortality for here is humanity, captured and frozen, as alive as a tombstone.