Ellie Gray Pivotal – Rudolf Boelee Reds Under the Bed – Sarah Garland Fragments

Ellie Gray Rudolf Boelee and Sarah Garland

Showing 14th July 2020 - 1st August 2020

Exhibition Information

Ellie Gray Pivotal – Rudolf Boelee Reds Under the Bed – Sarah Garland Fragments - Ellie Gray Rudolf Boelee and Sarah Garland

Ellie Gray


Pivotal is the title of a series of works largely inspired by residential structures from regions of Central Otago. This series has developed through observations and documentation of each structure?s lines, shapes, and play of shadows. Using a computer, I have abstracted my ideas, followed by the drawing of lines and layers of acrylic paint on board.

I am fascinated with the relationship between organic colours and man-made geometric shapes to create a challenge on how these can be interpreted by the viewer. By spending time with the works, my aim is for the viewer to slowly uncover the subject matter as if they are trying to solve a visual code.

The paradox is a journey of my visual style, using this technique with acrylic on board has allowed me to develop this sequence of works.


‘The highly geometrical works, depicted in primary colours with exacting precision in every line, manage to appear as both flat, two-dimensional pattern and as a three-dimensional illusion, propelling forward from the picture plane. Gray plays a clever game with the eye, unsettling any preconceived ideas of what exactly it is looking at, alluding to the desire for the subject to remain unresolved and open to interpretation.’ Laura Elliott.

Rudolf Boelee

Reds Under the Bed

The Red Scare (1947-57) was a period of paranoia about communist infiltration or invasion in the United States. During this period, ordinary Americans were paralysed by a fear of ‘Reds under the bed’, a belief that communist agents and sympathisers were secretly living amongst them.

Miriam Hopkins, John Wayne, Barbara Stanwyck,

Spencer Tracy, Loretta Young, Clark Gable

The Hollywood blacklist was the colloquial term for what was in actuality a broader entertainment industry blacklist put in effect in the mid-20th century in the United States during the early years of the Cold War. The blacklist involved the practice of denying employment to entertainment industry professionals believed to be or to have been Communists or sympathizers. Not just actors, but screenwriters, directors, musicians, and other American entertainment professionals were barred from work by the studios. This was usually done on the basis of their membership, alleged membership in, or even just sympathy with the Communist Party USA, or on the basis of their refusal to assist congressional investigations into the party’s activities. Even during the period of its strictest enforcement, from the late 1940s through to the late 1950s, the blacklist was rarely made explicit or verifiable, but it quickly and directly damaged or ended the careers and income of scores of individuals working in the film industry.

Sarah Garland


This series is an exploration of dichotomies. Friends? family photos provide the foundation of the works and their subsequent offshoots.

Obvious contrasts are of the figurative and the abstract. Soft form and fold contradict the gridded geometry. Slice-of-life scenes are represented faithfully, then deconstructed through the palette, already dictated, and then seemingly scattered at random in a kind of pixilation.

The portraits have their own double side. Nostalgic images of kiwi activities, faded fragments of halcyon past, belie an undercurrent of unease. Through the direct gaze, an off horizon, a side-ways sigh, the selected snaps convey more than a simple captured moment.

The abstracts exist in two ways also. At first and frontal glance, the thousands of squares dance with their endless colour permutations, but step sideways, or lower the light, and the relief creates a braille-like effect, a sculptural three-dimensionality.






Full Exhibition Works

Ellie Gray Pivotal – Rudolf Boelee Reds Under the Bed – Sarah Garland Fragments - Ellie Gray Rudolf Boelee and Sarah Garland

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