Stephanie L. Ellison
I like quiet, hidden things; ghosts, decay, subtle movements, and the interrelated nature of the seen and unseen. Studies in Japan at an early age, coupled with roots in Southern Illinois have informed my work. Jewelry is my medium as it can convey complex stories in concise ways as intimate, portable art.
My family ran a baseball concession stand during the 50s and 60s in East St. Louis, and in 2016 my sisters opened a candy store in Missouri. Using the biproduct of candy - the enjoyment, the anxiety, the movement and compulsion - I craft quick, intuitive, impermanent sculptures, casting them in precious metals, resulting in the remnants of a moment captured as valued object. The finished piece is largely dictated by chance.
Some candy, most notably gum, doesn’t decompose past a certain point, be it gum on the bottom of your shoe or cast in silver on your hand. The chewed gum jewelry is what remains - an ugly/beautiful memento mori. The hand and mouth of the artist are seen. No matter how wearable or unassuming to the eye, it also carries visceral responses and further inquiry.
Ellison is a self-taught artist with a varied background including dance, writing, and Japanese. She graduated from Illinois State University and lives in Los Angeles, CA.