Please join us on 3rd Friday, September 17th, as Kiosk Gallery presents While you wait, a solo exhibition of mixed media works by Ellen Weitkamp.
While you wait is a recent body of work by Ellen Weitkamp that explores the change in her personal environments and the world at large. The artist Becky Suss describes interiors as “collapsing time in space” in order to help us “think about the world, in terms of occupying it and remembering it.” Weitkamp’s mixed media paintings expand on this idea by focusing on how her relationship with spaces changed as she waited for the pandemic to end.
The artist invites viewers into the intimate settings and environments of her life, sharing the quiet spaces that may feel familiar to those who have been quarantined at home over the last year. Weitkamp focuses on mundane objects, often emphasizing their material or color, to work as points of entry into her work. Through collages of fabric, paper, photographs, and clay, the viewer is haptically folded into the scene before them. The textural elements bring the viewer into a space that drops illusion and suddenly feels within reach, as if the cabinet’s handle in the painting was theirs to pull. Her new series of marker drawings continues this discussion by highlighting the value of shared experiences with friends and family. The associations and recollections that allow Weitkamp’s work to tell a personal story occur not by directly reproducing these varied scenes, but through the precise control of the work’s visual language.
When viewers approach my work closely, a comprehensive illusion splinters into a fragmented material reality. As a result, the painting’s fabricated world becomes at once past and present: a memory embodied.
Extracting from my personal photos of daily life, I manipulate the documentation of events and how they can be imbued with a new life. What at first glance can appear as a quotidian scene becomes stretched and expanded into a discussion of process. A trompe l’oeil effect is created by combining fabric, paper, photographs, and clay into an oil and acrylic painting. The viewer is lured away from an optical experience through the deliberate inclusion of these spatial and tactile elements. A negotiation of the painted and collaged components happens by emphasizing texture and material, while capitalizing on the structure and familiarity of painting. The use of materials, such as recognizable fabrics, along with inviting perspectives, offers multiple points of entry for the viewer. This allows time to reflect and form their own associations within the work, along with a contemplation of the space we occupy and how we overlap with our surroundings.
My work focuses on these details of the everyday by portraying ordinary moments and objects in familiar spaces that are exciting not in spite of their mundanity but because of it. These moments consist of my contemplation of the space I inhabit and the desire to capture visually the fleeting emanation I feel from them. I am not striving to recreate a scene from nostalgia for the past, but to reproduce the timelessness of the instant. Time is something I strongly value. In my paintings I hope to redress my own desire to slow down time and create the space to breathe and be present. When I look at my paintings I feel a great sigh of relief in that the moments I felt were going unnoticed by my everyday can now gain a shared appreciation by many.
Ellen Weitkamp is a multimedia artist who blends traditionally perceived ideas of painting with contemporary processes in her mixed media paintings. Born, raised, and now working in Kansas City, Weitkamp uses her familiarity with the city to reinvestigate spaces she often glazed over previously. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Art History at the Kansas City Art Institute in 2019.
Friday, September 17th, 6-9 pm
Saturdays 12-4 pm, and by appointment