The Still Life suite reflects on the domestication of war and male violence. A legacy of military service in Stephen Ellis' family, and his attendance at the Gallipoli centennial in Turkey to commemorate his grandfather’s service there, prompted the artist to examine the inheritances of war.
The Still Life images refer to the iconography of war movies, war comics and war reportage; at the same time the diminution of scale and the use of toy soldiers and kitchen containers, speaks to the invasion of safe spaces and the impact of war service on home and family. The title of the suite refers to the domestic scale and to the quotidian objects used in the dioramas.
Technically the Still Life drawings are conventional coloured pencil drawings on paper, although they are arrived at circuitously. An initial rough drawing prompts model-making and the posing of a diorama; the diorama is photographed, and the photographs are manipulated and montaged in Photoshop; a low opacity tracing of the Photoshop image is used as a guide for the finished drawings in martial reds.
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