March 18 – May 28, 2017
Disturbing the Spirits
Trees teach us about belonging; they remind us that life doesn’t need permission to prevail. Trees are sanctuaries. If we listen closely, we can learn the ancient law of life. They are seen as powerful symbols of growth, decay and resurrection. They have played a prominent role in many folktales and legends and have been given deep and sacred meanings. But, a tree’s longevity can lull us into a false sense of immortality. It is this very impermanence that I long to understand through my photographic explorations. There is an ineffable natural beauty…. too great to be expressed or described in words
In this series I am using imagery to convey my “feelings” about the state of nature, the nature of trees, and how to express their connection to past, present and future. By obscuring a portion of the image through a veil, I strive to heighten the remaining reality through discovery and reflection.
Can Artists Heal Nature
As human actions impact the natural environment, can artists heal nature? Does art bring “special powers” to the table? If so, what are they? What is ‘art’? What is ‘nature’? What needs healing? What arrogance! Disturbing the Spirits deals with both reality and time (past/present/future) and my growing attachment to the healing powers of the natural environment. My life has taken a turn over the last four years. I returned to my place of birth in the US Midwest after leaving my home of 20 years. I left my California home with a range of emotions, from deep regret, loss and grief to longing and anticipation of what was to come; there is a new life brewing within.
I have been searching for meaning in my new life and have taken solace in the nature of this region…. its ever-changing seasons bring about an awareness of the fleetingness of life. I have an obsession with disappearance, of revealing only bits of reality and obscuring the rest through a veil of obscurity.
I was born and raised in St. Louis, but moved to California in 1990 to attend FIDM in downtown Los Angeles. Here, I obtained an advanced degree in Fashion in1992. After working at Mattel Toy Co. as a senior project designer, I became disillusioned with the corporate world. Having been trained in computer design while at Mattel, I continued my training using mostly Photoshop software.
As digital technology advanced and newer cameras were producing excellent resolution, I found my perfect medium. It was a true confluence of technological advancements and creative desire that culminated in my current body of work.
– Ellen Jantzen
Ellen Jantzen is represented by Susan Spiritus Gallery in Newport Beach, CA, Bruno David Gallery in St. Louis and Qlick Editions in Amsterdam.