Chris Ellis – Riverine Reflections 28-30 September

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Riverine Reflections

28-30 September– Malvern Artists’ Society, 1297 -1299 High Street, Malvern

Launch: 6pm Friday 28 September.

Friday: 10-8; Saturday: 10-5; Sunday: 10-3

 

 

 

Malvern architect and art enthusiast, Paul Delany, will launch Riverine Reflections, an exhibition of paintings about the Murray River by Albury landscape artist, Chris Ellis, on Friday 28 September, 6pm.

 

The exhibition, which runs for three days only to Sunday 30 September, features twenty oil paintings and twenty water-colours.

 

In the early eighties, Ellis studied fine art at Caulfield Institute of Technology (now Monash University) and majored in painting, as well as studying etching and photography. He went back to farming in Henty, New South Wales, and didn’t start painting again until 2009 – a not inconsiderable achievement given that he has had Parkinson’s disease for the past 23 years.

 

Riverine Reflections is a homage to the mighty Murray, Ellis says.

 

“When I moved to Albury five years ago, I was naturally drawn to the Murray River and its wetlands. There was actually water to paint, not like my farm where I only got to paint dry water courses and the tracks left by water. My paintings have gone from being yellow-brown in colour to predominantly blue. It has lifted my spirits and expanded my arts practice,” he said.

 

“The Murray-Darling Basin is one of the major food-growing areas of Australia – one of the best in the world. My paintings reflect the beauty of the wetlands, which are teaming with wildlife, and the underlying importance of the Murray to nature and agriculture.

 

“I seem to specialise in painting reflections and shadows in the water. I try to represent the confusion and ambiguity of what’s under the water. In most of my paintings, the views are down into the water, with no dry land visible – just pure water, except perhaps for some leaves floating.”

 

While he’s not sure if he can be called an environmentalist, Ellis’s underlying mission to make people appreciate the Murray River environs.

 

“The benefits of a well-cared for Murray ecosystem are enormous. A badly-managed system has hugely negative consequences. A motivation for these works was to emphasise our dependence on clean drinking water. Everything we drink or eat requires clean water in the production cycle. The birds, fish, mammals, reptiles and insects depend on a clean ecosystem,” Ellis said.

 

“In addition, the mighty Murray has particular cultural importance to the people who live along it – and people have lived along it for thousands of years. Irrigation and dry land farming along the river valley produce a huge amount of food for export as well as feeding millions of Australians.”

 

Ellis turns 57 this year and, at the relatively young age of 34, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

 

“I’ve had to teach myself how to paint with both hands. Luckily, six years ago I had deep brain stimulation and it made a huge difference. It means I can paint and drive a car,” he said.

 

Most of Ellis’s major works are oil on canvas painting executed in the studios using photos, watercolours, ink drawings and memory as reference.

His first exhibition, Viewpoints, at Wagga Regional Gallery (2010), focussed on an aerial perspective. He studied the patterns made by agricultural practices, as well as recording the marks made by water flowing across the landscape. His 2015 show at Artspace Wodonga looked at the Murray River and the beauty of the wetlands. In 2016 his Aqua Luminous show emphasised the patterns, reflections, and shadows, observed on, in and under the water.

 

 

 

 

 

Riverine Reflections, an exhibition by Albury landscape artist Chris Ellis, features twenty oil paintings and twenty water-colours and is a homage to the mighty Murray.

 

In the early eighties, Ellis studied fine art at Caulfield Institute of Technology (now Monash University) and majored in painting, as well as studying etching and photography. He went back to farming in Henty, New South Wales, and didn’t start painting again until 2009 – a not inconsiderable achievement given that he has had Parkinson’s disease for the past 23 years and has had to learn to paint with both hands.

 

When he moved to Albury five years ago, he was naturally drawn to the Murray River and its wetlands. There was actually water to paint, not like his farm where he only got to paint dry water courses and the tracks left by water. His paintings have gone from being yellow-brown in colour to predominantly blue. It has lifted his spirits and expanded his arts practice.

 

His paintings reflect the beauty of the wetlands, which are teaming with wildlife, and the underlying importance of the Murray to nature and agriculture. He specialises in painting reflections and shadows in the water, trying to represent the confusion and ambiguity of what’s under the water. In most of his paintings, the views are down into the water, with no dry land visible – just pure water, except perhaps for some leaves floating.

 

 

 

Chris Ellis: 0427 200 071; cianderellis@gmail.com; www.chrisellisartist.com

 

Media comment: Chris Ellis: 0427 200 071; cianderellis@gmail.com; www.chrisellisartist.com

 

Media enquiries: Carmel Shute, Shute the Messenger, 0412 569 356; carmel@shute-the-messenger.com

 

Christopher Ellis

Email: cianderellis@gmail.com
Nationality: Australian Citizen
Born: 1961 in Albury NSW
Childhood: Grew up on a farm near Walla Walla, NSW
Education:
1980: Studied Fine Art at Caulfield Institute of Technology, (now) Monash
University).
1981: Majored in painting, also studied etching and photography.
Art Practice:
1982: Moved to Henty NSW to commence sheep and wheat farming.
1982 – 2010: Continued to draw and paint in oils and water colours.
2010: Developed a folio of work for an exhibition.
2010: Solo Exhibition at Wagga Wagga Regional Gallery.
2010: Shifted to Melbourne to live, continued painting and drawing.
2012: Returned to Henty, retired from farming and moved to Albury.
2013 – 2014: Commenced painting full time and preparing work solo and group
exhibitions.
2014: Art from the Flinders Ranges group exhibition at The Malvern Artists Society.
2014: Winner of the Trinity College WAW Acquisitive Art Award Prize.
2015: Solo Exhibition at the Wodonga Art Space.
2016: Solo Exhibition ‘Aqua Luminous’ at MAMA Gallery Albury.
2017: Solo Exhibition ‘Face to Face’ at Artspace, Wodonga
2018: Solo Exhibition ‘Riverine Reflections’ at Malvern Artists’ Society, Melbourne