Lucy Ellerton (b. 1993, London, UK) previously studied at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. Lives and works in London.
At first glance and on the surface the works appear to be a generalised critique of consumerism, the American Dream. Instead, they become a commemoration not only of losing family and all that comes with it but a material encounter of the dynamic of a lifelong relationship... A passing of a vision or a fantasy of America that is no longer possible to uphold... The stockpiling of products to keep entropy at bay is mirrored in the meticulously precise remaking of each item.
My maternal grandparents are Bob and Barbara Grant. They live in a suburb an hour outside of Chicago. My grandmother grew up less than an hour away from where she lives now, my grandfather in upstate New York. I grew up here, in London, but ended up at university in Chicago.
For as long as I can remember my grandmothers love for shopping, coupled with her (undiagnosed) OCD has left a vivid imprint in my mind. Her specificity when it comes to home goods’ is still outstanding at 93, and she still maintains a stockpile of specialist Ziploc bags, that were only produced in Canada and discontinued many years ago.
You might consider you can learn just as much about a person as by the objects they own, the clothes they wear, the company they hold or the house they might keep.
With that in mind – the below works depict details of a simple portrait of two people in their final chapters of life and a fond image that represents comfort, care, OCD, delusion.
To me this is the American dream. What more spectacular selection of objects to represent a life of comfortable success; to stockpile 2-12 months’ worth of household goods. Yet it also represents our fragility. The unstable, unsettling image of a visual insight to the mind, of someone who is in the process of fading away. The inability to differentiate between necessity and loss of memory.
Medium:Oak, ash, london plane, stainless steel, jesmonite, steel, UV print, cotton caps with polyester thread, ClosetMaid shelving
"Someone, obviously, has turned on the taps, poisoned the local fauna, bundled the newspapers and departed, leaving us feeling somehow responsible and bereft in this glamorous atmosphere of noise ,poison, lies and the detritus of yesterday’s news – betrayed and abandoned – and made to feel more so by our gradual realization that we are not witnessing a “critique of material culture” in which we might participate, but another daydream altogether. Ready-mades would do for a “critique of material culture,” but nothing in this room is “real”. Everything, on close inspection – the sinks and the rat bait, even the newspapers – turns out to be fiction, re-presented, fabricated, distanced from us and still warm with suppressed memory, all standing at the same remove from some implied reality, evoking lost narratives, that, however opaque, reinforce our certainty that somewhere – out there in the artist’s history – there is a real sink that corresponds to these simulations of it; that there are real boxes of rat bait and specific newspapers, too, out there in the drift; and that, finally, there must be an actual sylvan glade – a “real” nature somewhere, however lost and barricaded." - Dave Hickey on Robert Gober