Artist statement

'Quit Horsing around' 85cm x 34cm, Oil on canvas, 2018.
‘Quit Horsing Around’ Oil on canvas, 85cm x 34cm, 2018.

Chlo Elizabeth graduated from Leeds Arts University in 2017, specializing in painting. She recently completed a 6-month residency at East Street Arts, she will present her first solo exhibition in August till November. The month after she will be undertaking the ChaNorth residency in Hudson Valley, New York, USA, she is one of seven artists chosen to undertake this residency.

Elizabeth paints from the photographic image and is interested in how visual language changes from medium to medium. Primarily she works from found black and white photographs and aims to integrate the past and the present using the material qualities of paint. The photographs, dating from the 1950s-70s, offer snapshots of life in agricultural Yorkshire. The images offer something that most present images don’t, it’s a fixation in time, offering their best selves, this is something Elizabeth manipulates during the process of painting.

Elizabeth’s paintings highlight and exaggerate implicit power structures—between adult and child, man and woman—observed from the photographs. Painting is a means to recondition the source material, whether it be the composition or the figures she’s painting, concepts and ideas change through making.

The source material changes and this is something Elizabeth will be exploring in Hudson Valley, she will be looking at current issues, climate change, overpopulation, different families from non-identical environments, these themes are something that has developed through making from her last series of work, working with the 1950’s black and white photographs.

Figurative painting is core to Elizabeth’s practice, as is humour. She uses the latter as a way to connect with the viewer, and employs overt puns as titles to suggest themes, humour is a big part of her practice, and this enables the viewer to feel at ease when sometimes the story behind the subject matter is quite uncanny and uncomfortable.