232 Views

Artist Focus: Ella Barkhouse

Ella Barkhouse is a second-year Brighton student, studying Fine Art: Critical Practice course. Her work ranges across all sorts of media, from some more traditional writing, drawing and sculpting works, to installations, and dialectical works that may not take a physical form. 

Where do you find inspiration?

I find the idea of artistic ‘inspiration’ to be contentious if I’m honest. One of our tutors told us recently that it is a biblical word, and that its original use was to refer to God ‘inspiring’ the Virgin Mary with his child. I think that this image of the artist finding this source of divine inspiration, which compels them to create, is archaic and irrelevant these days. Finding the things that I make work about is much more dialectical, it’s a processual absorption from loads of sources. I’m interested in epistemology, how we systemise and structure our ‘knowledge’ and how these processes create certain paradigms around which our societies and cultures are constructed.

What crucial themes and messages do you explore in your artwork?

In my work, I have this theme of ‘playing’ science worlds which mostly resemble our own but jump off in one direction and become absurd. I think this comes from a feeling of dislocation, or from contending with a culture which prioritises the ideals of knowledge and truth yet is inherently misinterpreted or misinformed. The paradigms of data-knowledge have been increasingly incorporated into our society, such that it forms the basis of our social opinions, and I guess I’ve been exploring the inherent mutability of that which governs us.

What influence, if any, does modern society have on your work, especially as an art student?

I’m definitely, almost totally, influenced by modern society. My course is really about becoming aware of the context in which we are creating art, the context in which art exists, and how it is utilised and mobilised outside of the studio. Recently, my course mates and I have been talking a lot about being students of a neo-liberalised higher education system, how our financial investment subjectivises us as consumers of education, and what kind of behaviors this subjectivism produces.

How do you work alongside other art students?

We put on a collaborative show very recently, in which we rejected contemporary exhibition norms by exhibiting ourselves, our active workspace, attempting not to perform for the inevitable audience we were exposed to. We work together a lot, in the (relatively) stable communal space of the University. The Badger 19th February 2018 OF BRIGHTON I guess in this way our collaborative practice takes a kind of auto-ethnographical form at the moment; a ‘self’ centered examination to understand and establish the position from which we then interact with the world (arguably the ultimate function of education.)

Do you have future plans regarding your artwork?

In the far-far future, as in post-university (which still feels like far even though I’m halfway through now), I know that I’m probably not going to be a studio-based artist. I think that it’s way more interesting to work outside the assumed conditions of being an artist, which tend to amount to owning a studio and exhibiting work. I want my practice to emerge from other settings and interactions, to produce new relations of art and society, to intervene in reality! (Which it can’t do within the ‘neutral’ white confines of the gallery.)

Words: Louisa Hunt Artist Instagram: @ellabarkhouse

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
298 views1
Campus News
298 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Arts
5 views

Shakespeare in the sun – The Tempest preview

Georgia Grace - May 24, 2018

In a world of dystopian King Lears and female Hamlets, Shakespeare’s classics are constantly being reimagined for the modern day. There’s something oddly refreshing then about the…

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
33 views
Arts
33 views

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 23, 2018

What a phenomenal contrast these two films present when watched side-by-side. In essence, together they are capable of tracing inner and outer metamorphoses of their subjects. The…

Dollywould at The Old Market preview
Arts
36 views
Arts
36 views

Dollywould at The Old Market preview

Alex Hutson - May 22, 2018

From the 22nd May - 25th May 2018 DollyWould will be showing at The Old Market. An exciting new show, presented by Sh!t Theatre, who won the…

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu
Artist Focus
91 views
Artist Focus
91 views

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - May 16, 2018

Last week artist Fedilou made her debut exhibition in the downstairs space of Morelli Zorelli, a quaint vegan Italian restaurant in Hove, featuring a collection of intimate…

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley
Interview
64 views
Interview
64 views

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley

Nikolaos Manesis - May 15, 2018

Ron Chrisley is a Reader in Philosophy, on the faculty of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, and is the director of COGS (Centre for Cognitive Science).…

Adam review
Arts
120 views
Arts
120 views

Adam review

Ketan Jha - May 13, 2018

If you have been a stranger to the stage this spring and decide to see one contemporary show, let it be Adam. This reviewer went in entirely…

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
118 views
Arts
118 views

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 13, 2018

In celebration of iconic Brighton local, legendary alt-rock musician (and episodic actor) Nick Cave, TOM’s Film Club are hosting a double-bill screening of his films at The…

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review
Arts
138 views
Arts
138 views

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review

Georgia Grace - May 11, 2018

Meta-theatricality and interactivity are becoming all the more vogue in contemporary theatre, and in a world where the arts are becoming increasingly open and democratised, I find…

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks
Artist Focus
115 views
Artist Focus
115 views

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks

Alex Leissle - May 9, 2018

  [gallery type="slideshow" ids="35385,35386,35387,35388,35389,35390,35391,35392,35393,35394,35395,35396,35397,35398,35399,35400,35401,35402,35403,35404,35405,35406,35407,35408,35409,35410,35411"]

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival
Books
95 views
Books
95 views

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival

William Singh - May 9, 2018

Afua Hirsch’s 2018 book - part memoir, part polemic - provokes mixed feelings. So too did her discussion of the topic at this year’s Brighton Festival. Don’t…

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality
Science
130 views
Science
130 views

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality

Luke Richards - May 8, 2018

Bioweapons exist, while ethnic-bioweapons are whispered conspiracies. Pandemics can fairly hazardous to human life, the 1918 Flu Pandemic killed 20-50 million people. A man made pandemic could…

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced
News
180 views
News
180 views

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced

Jessica Hubbard - May 4, 2018

Students have voted to support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, reject Prevent and adopt new Gender Equality policies. Results for the Students' Union referenda were…

Why I’m Jewish AND I support BDS
Comment
175 views
Comment
175 views

Why I’m Jewish AND I support BDS

Sarah McIntosh - May 2, 2018

The idea of a land where my religious identity is welcomed and where I feel safe to be myself and live in peace is a beautiful idea…

Student research happening at Sussex
Features
154 views
Features
154 views

Student research happening at Sussex

Nikolaos Manesis - May 1, 2018

(Image source: Flickr, Pixabay, Wikipedia) Another academic year is coming to a close and with it, the last edition of The Badger. To celebrate our last science…

Sussex Festival cancelled
Campus News
214 views
Campus News
214 views

Sussex Festival cancelled

Jordan Wright - April 30, 2018

The Students’ Union have cancelled their highly anticipated end-of-term event Sussex Festival: Desert Island Disco, which was due to begin on Saturday May 12th. The Students’ Union…

Students’ Union President Gustafsson and Liberate the Debate respond to the cancelled event
Comment
231 views
Comment
231 views

Students’ Union President Gustafsson and Liberate the Debate respond to the cancelled event

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

These comment pieces represent the opinions of both the Students' Union and Liberate the Debate with regards to the  recent cancellation of the Society's freedom of speech…

Artist Focus: Rory Hinshelwood
Artist Focus
153 views
Artist Focus
153 views

Artist Focus: Rory Hinshelwood

Louisa Hunt - April 25, 2018

Rory Hinshelwood studies Zoology with Spanish at Sussex. His brand is called Poplar St., at the moment the brand sell embroidered high-quality t-shirts. Rory works mostly in graphics…

Artist Focus: Maayan Cohen
Artist Focus
108 views
Artist Focus
108 views

Artist Focus: Maayan Cohen

Emma Phillips - April 24, 2018

The Badger spoke with Sussex University’s Maayan Cohen about her creative workshop, ‘Bits and Pieces.’ Can you tell us a bit about Bits and Pieces- what’s the…

Voodoo enthralls at The Old Market – review
Arts
141 views
Arts
141 views

Voodoo enthralls at The Old Market – review

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - April 24, 2018

As part of South East Dance’s micro-festival, Undisciplined, Voodoo comes to being as a collaboration between South East Dance and Project O. Project O brings artists Alexandrina…