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.