Born in the UK, Ella first studied industrial design completing a Master of Arts at the Royal College of Art. After graduating she worked in the publishing industry in London as an illustrator and graphic designer. In 2010 Ella moved to Canberra where she trained as a picture framer and printmaker, learning solar plate etching from master printmakers Barak Zelig and Seraphina Martin.
The etching plates are not made by the traditional method of working in to a waxy ground, and washing out with acid. Instead artwork is transferred to a positive transparent film and developed on to a photo sensitive metal plate using sunlight, and the plates are ‘washed out’ with water. Photographs, drawings and found elements such as lace and flowers can all be appropriated and used together to burn an image on to the plate, which is then inked and pressed in the usual way. These works are printed on 100% cotton rag. They have been archivally framed by the artist and are glazed with uv-protective glass.
Work starts by collecting things. Found objects like wild flowers and leaves are pressed between books to flatten them. I collect old photographs, objects which I can paint and I start to make drawings - both real and digital. These elements start to pile up, and I begin to assemble them. Sometimes objects can sit for a long time unused, but at some point they will eventually make sense within a pattern. Often elements are repeated, appearing in several designs in a different form. Designs don't start with a thought - out meaning, but the narrative evolves in the making of them and the adding of layers. Central to this body of work is Beauty, Femineity, Fertility and the Romance of the turn of the Twentieth Century.
Ella Chartres, Cinematic in Blue
Solar plate etching 2/5, 20 x 25 cm $550
Ella Chartres, Aphrodite
solar plate etching, 19 x 26 cm $550
Ella Chartres, Nocturne
Hand colour etching, $450 SOLD