To See Beyond What Seems To Be showcases new directions in Ella Dreyfus' work, revealing a surprising turn towards colour and abstraction via an unusual combination of the hand-made with digital technologies. Well-known in Australia for her black and white photographs which engaged with representations of the body, her earlier works embraced the ordinary, striking a rich source of humanity, compassion and emotional resonance. In recent years her practice has shifted towards the performative, interactive and reflective, where the complex relationships between the private/public and the physical/emotional realms are revealed, creating new possibilities for visually embodied experiences.
To See Beyond What Seems To Be is an exhibition of prints on paper which reflect upon the way language shifts through space and transcends meaning. Depicted in the works are a number of three-dimensional soft sculptures, which were hand stitched by the artist and layered through digital photographic techniques. The muted tones of the coloured alphabet letters reflect upon the early childhood development of language. They hover over each other and do not appear to form recognisable words. Rather they confuse, conflate and transcend meaning; the intimate tactile nature of the hand-made objects cohabitates with the mechanically distancing effects of digitized images.
The exhibition forms the final part of a trilogy of artworks created for a Doctorate in Fine Arts at the College of Fine Arts, University of NSW. The other two parts of the trilogy were the interactive installation Weight and Sea, exhibited at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi in 2005 and the photographic installation Scumbag, exhibited at Stills Gallery, Sydney in 2008.
To See Beyond What Seems To Be is an exhibition event of the Head On Photo Festival 2011 in Sydney, exhibited at Articulate Project Space, Sydney, 1 - 5 June 2011