Ellen Gallagher- Tutor Reccomended Viewing/ Reading

Throughout drawing 1 there has been theme emerging in my work that includes collage, low tech digital manipulation and use of traditional marks.

I love Collage it is a process I really enjoy as it has no rules, is unlimited in its exploration and personally I find quite intuitive. I am intrigued to find out how other artists perceive the collage process using both digitally, by hand or a combination of both.

Ellen Gallagher ‘AxME’ Tate Modern, London

Ellen Gallagher has many dimensions to her work, she uses the inspiration of writers, the representation of Black african women and the slave trade within her collage that deals with real issues within a fantasy realm that she creates within her collages.

The use of layering in works such as “Bird in Hand” 2006 where she uses intricately cut layers of lined paper juxtaposed together that converges to one view-point behind the pirate that creates depth. It is a clever way to represent the sea in within this large image.

Bird in Hand 2006 by Ellen Gallagher born 1965

Fig 1 Ellen Gallagher Bird in Hand 2006 Collage Oil paint, ink, paper, polymer, salt and gold leaf on canvas

Further information http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/gallagher-bird-in-hand-t12450



Points of Interest- Ellen Gallagher

  • Use of sculpting material plastercine to layer (semi raised) flat surfaces.
  • Use of magazine advertisements.
  • layering of images by hand with drawing on top, images reveal more as the viewer perceives them.
  • Reversal of Black/white text to appear white on black or blue like a negative (there is an interesting racial context there too).
  • Grids of multiple images.
  • Media- painting, drawing, relief, collage, print, sculpture, film and animation.
  • Use of a writers narrative to use layering of words that paint a picture in your head, Ellen Gallagher takes that picture pushes it and represents it of where black africans are today.
  • Complex works that explore social history and incorporate nature, myth, art.
  • Odalisque 2005, digital manipulation with gold leaf.


Further articles/ images viewed – Ellen Gallagher






Tate, (2013) Ellen Gallagher AXME [Online] At; http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/ellen-gallagher-axme (Accessed 4th July 2017).

Fig 1 Ellen Gallagher Bird in Hand 2006 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/gallagher-bird-in-hand-t12450 (Accessed 4th July 2017).



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