Landscapes of bone, rock, and earth by Harry Bartle
Painting is at the centre of everything for Eleanor Díaz Ritson. The works she creates are inspired by her daily thoughts, experiences, desires, and fears. Showing at Enjoy Gallery until the 5th of November, Through Claystone Eyes explores her personal response to modernity.
“This exhibition offers a platform devoid of relentless interference, a place where the seemingly inert is awakened”, Ritson explains. “I paint to engage my own claystone eyes. I experience both body and place as lively. It’s unmoving yet turbulent… Body-form becomes earth-form, landscapes of bone, rock, and earth fluidly span time to the inner reaches of our bodies and minds.”
Born in Ayapango, Mexico, Ritson is currently studying towards a Master of Fine Arts at Toi Ruawhārangi College of Creative Arts Massey in Wellington. Through Claystone Eyes came to life when she was chosen as Enjoy Galley’s Rita Angus Cottage summer resident, painting nine of the 10 works in the exhibition since her selection.
Ritson paints with water-mixable oils. She often adds water to desaturate the colour as she finds the new palette more “satisfying and real”. Her distinctive textural approach melds natural elements into body-scape, depicting both human figures and geological forms with turbulent strokes.
“There’s something moody and intense about darkness, something emotionally charged which allows me to carve and mould the figures in their landscapes. It has become a part of my style for the present, but this colour palette may shift in the future.”
Accompanying the 10 paintings, Through Claystone Eyes also includes a handmade book featuring writing, poems, and images by the artist and those close to her.