Ellen Ranson


Venice Fellow 2022

MA MIMA School of Art 2022

Living and working in the North East of England

Ellen Ranson’s work has an energy and vigour that is representative of the arrogance and ego commonly associated with male artists, prominent within the Abstract Expressionism movement. Her desire to question and challenge this rhetoric of male dominance and profile has led her to create physically powerful, expressive works that capture a hunger and desire for greater recognition and rebalancing of female representation within abstract expressionism and art itself. The strong, confident rhythmic brush strokes suggest an ease of application. Yet the pace of composition is carefully considered and the use of colours, in foreground and background, follow a systematic approach. Layering and depth is created by utilising all manner of domestic brushes from brooms, to mops. This and the use of household paint create a contemporary snapshot in time often reflected in the titles of the work inspired by their retail paint names for example: Ripe Peach, Super Pink Hush and Sweet Pea.

Paintings are granted different levels of prominence and credibility within a gallery. Gallery and museum spaces have been typically dominated with white male artists’ representations of the female figure.

Abstract expressionism is emblematic of these issues, whereby female artists of the era were marginalised and disregarded, whilst male artists rose to prominence. This blueprint can be applicable to contemporary patriarchal power structures.

"My work aims to perform the arrogance and ego associated with the Abstract Expressionist male painter archetype."

Ellen Ranson graduated with a BA (Hons) degree in Fine Art from Northumbria University in 2018 and was the recipient of the Painting Fellowship at the University the following year. In 2018 she was awarded the John Crisp Prize for Innovative work in Painting. She is a Venice Fellow 2022. 




Venice Fellowships Programme 2022

59th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale de Venezia 2022, Venice, Italy

MA Degree Show, MIMA School of Art

Solo Exhibitions

2020        Under the Eaves, Hartlepool Art Gallery

2019        Pop Up Salon, Parapluie, North Shields

Group Exhibitions

2021        BALTIC Open Submission, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

2021        Somewhere Between Reality and Obscurity, The Viewing Room, UKNA, curated by Garth Gratrix (online)

2020        Picasso Baby, Middlesbrough

2018        Middlesbrough Art Weekender, Middlesbrough

2018        I Can Still (Still), Great Exhibition of the North, Newcastle

2018        Reveal, Northumbria University, Newcastle 

2017         The Long-er Gallery, Newcastle

2018        “Ladies and Gentlemen”, TESTT, Durham

2017        Powerhouse, Conny, Consett

2017        Abstraction, Conny, Consett

2017        Hemeralopia, Gallery North Project Space, Newcastle


2022        Venice Fellowship Programme

2018        John Crisp Prize for Innovative Work in Painting

Self Established

Founder/Director, Conny Art Fest

Industry roles

Founder/Director Conny Art Fest CIC

Creative Producer, Middlesbrough Art Weekender 2021


2019        Conny Art Fest       

2018        "Ladies and Gentlemen", TESTT, Durham

2017        Conny Art Festival, YMCA, Consett


2019        Dialogues, Northumbria University, Newcastle 

2018        Painting workshop with final year students, Northumbria University, Newcastle


2020 - 2022        MA Fine Art, MIMA School of Art, Teesside University

2015 - 2018        BA (Hons) Fine Art, First Class, Northumbria Univeristy