In her solo exhibition at the Art Hall Gallery, So Bright That It Blinds You, Eleriin Ello shifts the temporal and spatial dimensions of tiny, palm-sized stones on the one hand, and the imperceptible vastness of space on the other. We have all looked to the sky and we have all looked down to the ground at our feet. “These are the two ends of a single scale,” Eleriin Ello says. She paints both of these.
“My exhibition is based on the perception of the vastness of our inner universe and the immeasurability of existence. The exhibition features abstract paintings on the themes of light and darkness and also realistic paintings of stones. /…/ On the scale of the inner universe of man and the infinity of being, I am moving towards a place where I have no beginning or end. I just am. /…/ Darkness is densely filled with everything and anything; all the colours of being are woven into it. Sinking into darkness, into the black hole, it may seem like everything is over and I am about to disappear. And I am indeed disappearing, but only to appear again in the shadow of darkness, creating myself anew. This is the place of creation – and of the beginning. Darkness is so bright that it blinds you,” says Eleriin Ello in the text accompanying her exhibition.
Acting as a microscope and a telescope at the same time, Ello dives into the vastness of the universe. Her willingness to portray light and darkness and to “become one with them” turns scientific exploration, experimentation and proof into artistic curiosity, risk and self-transcendence. The surprising images by NASA are born from telescopic photographs and data processing; they have the beauty of a mathematical formula to them. Ello adds the physical body of a painting, playfulness and human longing to this beauty. Without delving too much into the composition, chiaroscuro, colour or form, or into the painted matter, she invents a separate technical solution for every depicted object, feeling and perception, finding a way for rendering expressiveness to the picture surface. It runs in her blood and comes naturally and self-evidently to her; even if it’s only a side effect, this is what makes her primarily an outstanding painter. This also applies to the current exhibition: as a painter, she pulls herself by the hair onto a solid surface, leaving the weightless state she entered as a person. “Despite the occasional heaviness of the artist’s gaze, So Bright That It Blinds You is still a cheerful exhibition,” says Tamara Luuk, curator at Tallinn Art Hall.
Eleriin Ello (1984) is a freelance painter living and working in Tallinn. After short-term studies in the painting department of the University of Tartu she obtained a bachelor’s degree in print art (2007) and a master’s degree in painting (2010) from the Estonian Academy of Arts. During her master’s programme, she also complemented her studies at the painting department of the University of Porto, Portugal. Ello’s work has been recognised with the Young Painter Prize of the Baltic States (3rd place) in 2012 and the Sadolin Art Prize in 2016.
Curator: Tamara Luuk
The curator’s tour, in Estonian, with Tamara Luuk will take place on Saturday, 9 October at 2 pm. The exhibition So Bright That It Blinds You will remain open until 28 November 2021.
We would like to thank the Estonian Ministry of Culture, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, AkzoNobel and Andra Aaloe.