Salt, Flour, Water, Paint and Natural Dyes.
During the pandemic, Ellie invited residents of Lancashire to attend digital workshops and to choose a subject from their own homes that they felt captured their lockdown experience. In the workshop, Ellie shared her expertise and participants recreated their subjects as salt dough sculptures. The aim was to build a new sense of community and place through sculpture making, re-imagining the possibilities of materials we have in our homes.
The sculptures created by Lancashire residents are displayed upon salt-dough plinths made by the artist, Ellie Barrett, and are based on public sculpture found across Lancashire.
The plinth is a symbol of social hierarchy and elitism which positions powerful individuals above communities and distances sculpture-making from accessible social activities. Remaking the plinth motif from salt dough brings sculpture down from its pedestal, opening it up to wider audiences as a means of making our own history with the materials we have access to.
The work is currently being exhibited in Blackburn Bus Station and can be viewed until the end of June.
Want to have a go at making your own salt dough sculpture? Watch Ellie’s tutorial to learn some tips and tricks.
Ellie is a sculptor and researcher exploring how using different materials creatively can help us understand ourselves and the world we share. She is constantly drawn to materials we are all familiar with. Bin-bags, cling-film, bubble-wrap and kitchen towels are just some of the things she has used and she believes innovating with accessible materials is a way of engaging audiences and opening up new ways of thinking. Her current body of work is made from salt dough (a mix of flour, salt and water). She recreates objects such as food, body parts, commercial goods and art motifs with a homemade and comic aesthetic. They draw comparisons between art making and other forms of production and consumption.
Ellie lives and works in Lancaster, where she also runs GRAFT, an arts organisation which champions artists at the beginning of their professional career and brings exciting contemporary art to wider audiences. This ethos is at the crux of everything she does, both in her curatorial and artistic practices.
This exhibition is in partnership with Creative Spaces, a project collaboration with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and Blackburn Business Improvement District. The project aims to support the post-Covid recovery and attract people back into Blackburn town centre through creative arts and culture.