Born and based in London, Holly Elan uses inks and fluid acrylics to paint images inspired by her surroundings and playful, intimate scenes from the everyday. By heavily cropping the image and leaving just a focused glimpse of the bigger picture, the viewer is able to paint their own picture as to what is happening out of sight. Isolating these images encourages a deeper connection with the painting and allows the viewer to really see and digest small acts and moments that make up day to day life.
The investigation of colour and control is a recurring theme within her works. By using a wet on wet method of painting Holly Elan is able to create unpredictable shapes and marks that couldn’t be achieved by hand. We are invited to appreciate the beauty in small areas of merging and uncontrollable colour, created by pooling paint and excessive amounts of water. The use of bright and sometimes jarring colours act as a way of enhancing the scene within the painting. The contrast between the unextraordinary everyday and vivid colour that demands your attention, alludes to the idea that the colours, shapes and acts of the everyday can in fact be extraordinary.
Her most recent body of work has been an exploration of taste and touch and has heavily featured various fruits and foods. Food is something that unites us all yet we each have our own unique relationship to it. She is especially drawn to the sticky nature of certain foods and the connection between these and her wet method of painting. By playing with images that don’t really go together, like tongues and flowers, she engages with the imagination and senses of the audience. Her gently bawdy use of imagery brings a mischievous humour to her paintings, leaving us contemplating the joys and silliness of it all.