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, specialising in painting. She has completed a 6-month residency at East Street Arts, and presented her first solo exhibition in her hometown of Leeds. In 2018, she completed the ChaNorth residency in Hudson Valley, New York, USA, being one of only 7 artists chosen to undertake it.

Elizabeth paints from the photographic image and is interested in how visual language changes from medium to medium. She primarily 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: 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 etc—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 explored in Hudson Valley, looking at current issues, climate change, overpopulation, different families from non-identical environments, these themes are something that has developed through the making of 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; this sense of humour is a big part of her practice, and enables the viewer to feel at ease when the story behind the subject matter can be uncomfortable.