One area of the exhibition is designated for the display of contextual materials about the artist’s process, and about the aesthetic, perceptual and cognitive transactions that occur at various levels of engagement with the work–in particular panels, across grids, and across the body of work between viewer and work (or viewer and artist). It is a visual information lab where questions and curiosities that are piqued within the exhibition can be developed, leading viewers to engage further with the work.
An iPad app was developed that allows viewers to alter the grid PICTURE IT, and submit their configurations to the artist and curator. The iPad connects to a projector for other viewers to witness the arrangement process in the gallery. All submissions are submitted to a public running Tumblr feed and at intervals an arrangement is selected to be configured on the gallery wall.
Ellmann often makes associations to images or memories from her childhood and travels once a work is done. Laminated photo cards of images, either from the artist’s files or open-sourced, that have multiple relationships to the abstraction occurring within the body of work, will be hung on the gallery wall for viewers to use as they wish. For instance, they might carry a card out to the painting installations, and consider the ways an idea or image can reappear and what its morphology might indicate.
In order to impart a sense of the material process, a number of elements have been included in the lab, namely: encaustic texture panels that will be available for visitors to touch, a case of tools of the types Ellmann uses to create such textures, a case of paint bricks, which convey that the solid medium undergoes an alchemical process to become a painting, and finally a short film which further suggests the solid-liquid-solid cycle of encaustic, as well as the ways some of the tools are utilized to produce texture.
Also among the lab’s components is a large format photo of the view outside the artist’s studio. While Ellmann does not normally “paint from” her view, she considers her work to be a response to place, and has noticed that changes in frequented geography indirectly influence her forms.