Through representation of invisible spaces, Eleen's new series Watershed attempts to allow meaning to be created via artistic process without reliance on subject matter. Watershed acts as a microcosm for the search of artistic and personal identity through the painterly practice. The exhibition's works use abstract formalism, dynamic colour palettes, and generous spaces to provide a visceral experience. Created under pre-defined parameters, the 4' by 4' pieces employ a collection of interacting visual fields, assuaging the eye and mind into questioning how representation and abstract imagery can collide to create artifacts of personal and artistic histories.
Working after a moment of tragedy, the body of work signifies the artist's new path into an unknown future. As carefully measured sections of intense hues and comforting tones blend together and disrupt each other, Watershed poses larger questions regarding the work's creation and meaning. However, Eleen's series defies any easy interpretation, instead working within ambiguity in order to exemplify the difficulty of art; art should not be easy, it must hold itself to a higher ideal. Each piece offers a different example of how space can be penetrated and transformed into representation. In doing so, the exhibition reifies internal experience onto the painted canvas, ripe with personal and collective meanings. What does the viewer understand through these works? Watershed showcases that the best answer for understanding results from a burrowing inward reflection of the self.
Matthew Kyba 2017
"Bliss lives in life's interstices, in its crevices and tributaries. Sometimes you have to look to one side to see it, like looking at a star."
~ (Gary Michael Dault, Quotation and Bliss: Negotiating Martha Eleen's History of the Future, exhibition brochure 2016)