Ellen Dhondt

resident Bosacademie

Ellen Dhondt resideerde hier in juli als beeldend kunstenaar en zal nieuw werk presenteren tijdens de Vruchtbare Grond expo in oktober.

My work is inspired by paper cut-out dolls from the 20’s. What inspires me about these dolls is that the figure gets placed in the middle and gets presented by these objects or clothes which eventually form the whole image or portrayal of this doll. It’s like the doll figure is stuck in a context which portrays her and where she has no possibility of escaping. I designed my own cut-out doll which resembles me, named “Ellie Dolly” and I’d like to get to know myself through this alter ego. By using ‘Ellie Dolly’ as my alter ego I can talk about universal experiences yet make my work deeply personal.

We asked Ellen some questions:

Where do you find inspiration?

I get a lot of inspiration by looking at old toys, vintage comics and magazines. Besides that I’m very fascinated by figures like Lana Del Rey, I love how she uses this old glamorous Hollywood aesthetic and makes it her own. My biggest artistic influence is Cindy Sherman. I’m fascinated by how she constantly plays, questions and changes her identity. I like the performative aspect of it.

Does art help you in other areas of your life?

Art has taught me to dare to take up space and be unapologetically myself. Painting itself taught me how valuable it is to spend time on your own and to reflect.

Tell us about your techniques for overcoming creative blocks.

For me painting is something very neurotic. It’s constantly looking at what you’re painting and changing it directly. To prevent myself from doing the same thing over and over again, which often leads to getting stuck. I sometimes like to play this game with myself that I must do what goes against my nature, as if somebody else would come to my canvas and puts something there. Destroying my work or overpainting certain parts always helps for me. Going to museums, watching documentaries is also very important when I struggle with creative block. Sometimes you need to learn new things to get out of what you already know and find that excitement again. When having a block going outside is the best thing to do in my opinion.

Why do you want to make art?

Painting helps me to reflect. It’s like when you’re sleeping, you process everyday life through your dreams, for me with painting it’s the same. Besides that it is a very addicting thing to do. It is something that never stops. It can go in every direction possible, which makes it super exciting. It’s constantly solving problems. When I struggle with a work it can be all-consuming, but it’s also a nice feeling. For me making art is really a sort of escapism and something I do to create my own identity.