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Exhibition
Dip Beneath The Horizon
6 April - 29 April 2023

To view and purchase artworks from this series
scroll to the end of this webpage or visit the gallery between 6 – 29 April 2023.

Dip Beneath The Horizon evokes that transitional nether time when day slides away and the sun goes beneath the horizon and the moon is not yet risen. The title signifies for Emily Ebbs the stage of her life now – a time of thinking, sinking, letting go… A time for reflection and releasing from her early life shared with her three siblings and their childhood marked by abusive trauma and maternal addictive behaviours and emotional and physical absences.

Painting is a way of healing for Emily. Of mapping emotions. A safe harbour for her feelings and comprehension of what happens to the body in response to trauma. Her works have a hushed, quiet sensibility. She captures on and in fabrics the residue, the vestiges and distillation of her emotions then and now.

Her paintings are devoid of figuration or the human figure. They are nostalgic, contemplative, internalized enigmatic abstractions. Yet there is an implied and palpable human presence and a subtle and intimate fluid energy within Emily Ebbs’s deeply felt works that are an innermost portrait of the artist from a combination of her lived experiences, and observations and imaginings from childhood to adulthood.

Her process is reflective, meditative, immersive. She works at floor level on unstretched fabric. She chooses soft materials; finely woven cotton, linen, silk, scrim or muslin – a loosely woven almost transparent textile. Muslin is softly tactile. It is often associated with baby’s cribs and comfort. Muslin is also used in cheesemaking to strain out the whey, and in cooking to filter out that which is not wanted.

Emily gets down at floor level with her materials. Her whole body is involved. Working with her hands in the paint. Rubbing and smearing, Brushes are used, but infrequently. Acrylic paints are thinned, watered down. She favours soft soothing, calming pastel colours.

Sometimes she dunks the canvas or pours puddles of paint onto the floor and lays the textile over it letting the colour beneath seep and bleed into the fibres to stain the fabric with a residue of the spill or outpouring. She is responsive to the accidental and the intuitive, both emotional and physical of what has gone before. Leaving bare negative spaces, leaving surface and mind open for what might come. Sometimes scribbling an addendum in pastel or coloured pencil.

Her works are a form of collage. At times as fabric overlays onto memories of another painting or incident. Before being stretched onto a wooden frame, pieces are stitched in an act of mending, repairing, bringing together, uniting – or separating out. Or covering up. Her actions are expressive of the dilemma of being both together – and apart. Drop sheets too become pillowy soft, human-body size sculptures in tints of calming pastel colours that invite nestling, leaning in, and comfort.

Emily recalls a favourite Margaret Olley print, a still life, that hung In Emily’s childhood home. She sought escape and found solace immersing herself within Margaret Olley’s work of art. But the image now has a mixed legacy for her. It was a safe haven, allowing Emily to deaden her emotions and depersonalise and detach as a coping mechanism during scary conflict and trauma.

Years on, Emily is the current Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre Nancy Fairfax Studio Artist-in Residence, a prize awarded her on graduation with a Master’s Degree from the National Art School in 2022.  She will create a body of work in response to her emotions and the ambience evoked by the ephemeral objects and art from Margaret Olley’s Paddington home now installed as a recreation in the Tweed Gallery’s Margaret Olley Art Centre. Emily’s responses will be exhibited at the Tweed Regional Gallery in 2024.

– Barbara Dowse, Curator

Emily Ebbs, Dip Beneath The Horizon, installation view. Jessica Maurer Photography.

Emily Ebbs’ process based practice evokes the emotional residue of childhood trauma. She focuses on the idea of the stain. They show signs of something marked or discoloured that is difficult to remove where she finds it is closely linked to the idea of trauma. It is the staining of canvas or drop sheet, the tearing up of unfinished or unwanted works, collaging of fabrics and mark making that are impulsive and improvised that make up her process. Her work is a way of reflecting on her past experiences in a safe place and where art making can aid in recovering from trauma.

Artwork and portrait photography by Grace Carlon.

All prices are in Australian dollars and inclusive of GST.
Shipping costs not included – please contact the gallery for assistance with shipping. Prices are correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change without notice. For sales enquiries email: info@artereal.com.au

Emily Ebbs

Lay Beneath

2022
acrylic on linen, cotton blend and beeswax
150 x 120 cm
$3,800
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Emily Ebbs

Bunny

2023
acrylic and pencil on muslin and linen
82 x 62 cm
$1,500
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Emily Ebbs

Float

2023
acrylic and pastel on silk and muslin
168 x 128 cm
$4,800
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Emily Ebbs

Washed

2023
acrylic on cotton
77 x 52 cm
$1,500
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Emily Ebbs

Sink

2023
acrylic on cotton
180 x 140 cm
$4,500
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Emily Ebbs

Between Two Parts

2023
acrylic and pencil on muslin
70 x 50 cm
$1,500
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Emily Ebbs

Let go

2023
acrylic on canvas and muslin
150 x 220 cm
$5,000
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Emily Ebbs

Stained Body 1

2022
acrylic on canvas, wool, polyester
140 x 110 cm
$1,800
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Emily Ebbs

Stained Body 2

2022
acrylic on canvas, wool, polyester
130 x 100 cm
$1,800
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Additional Information

Upcoming Exhibition

Previous Exhibition

main gallery
Max Lawrence White
3 May - 25 May 2024