Friday, February 12, 2010

Ellin Larimer and the Journey of the Line

 Illustration: Ellin Larimer. Winter.

Ellin Larimer's work celebrates colour, texture, and ultimately that of the drawn line. Through textiles, Larimer is able to express an innate understanding of both the complexities and subtleties that are involved within the parameters of a fine art context.

Through the five pieces shown here, part of her Counterpoint series, Larimer takes segments of her work and produces through a fascinating process of construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction, a composition that flows in harmony colourwise, but seems to stagger with juxtapositions, linewise. There is a strange mixture of both tranquillity and movement within the work. The colours and textures play their part in allaying any fears the eye might have as to harsh, sharp, or drastic breaks in the composition, while the drawn line still retains these elements it seems less so because the clever use of colour balance. 

Illustration: Ellin Larimer. Tumult.

There lies the strength in Larimer's compositions. These are not mere cut-ups rearranged in order to form an all over pattern. In fact, all elements of the finished piece go to make up the ultimate journey of the drawn line, a line that uses both colour and texture as its support. The line that Larimer ingeniously draws, takes numerous pathways that at first glance appear to be mostly false starts, but in a way it is true to say that the journey of the drawn line is constantly reinvigorated and recreated. There is never a beginning or an ending to Larimer's work as everything folds in on itself. Whenever it appears that there may be a loose strand unaccounted for, that strand is taken up again and led somewhere else.

Illustration: Ellin Larimer. Verdant Counterpoint.

This constant journey of colour, texture, and line shows a confidence in some of the subtler aspects of fine art drawing which is often made more complex and harder to achieve by the very nature of those mediums. Trying to take a line on a journey using textiles as a base is particularly difficult.

With this particular set of five textile pieces, Larimer is confident in taking us deep within the constructs of her compositions. Follow a line and you are led deep within the confines of her creation on an endlessly looping pathway going behind and underneath, only to reappear again in a slightly different place at a different level. There is no real beginning and definitely no end to this journey and nor should there be.

Illustration: Ellin Larimer. Red Mums in Cloud Shape.

Ellin Larimer has exhibited her work extensively across the US. She has a comprehensive website where much more of her work can be seen. The website is listed below in the reference links section.

All images were provided with the kind permission of the artist.

Illustration: Ellin Larimer. Earth.

Reference links:


pansypoo said...

my grandma would have loved this stuff. i need to tell my aunt to visit.

Angel Ray said...

I'm obsessed!

Anaka said...

Beautiful colours. And the lines and curves in each work really engage the eye- I wanted to spend time following the lines in each one instead of just quickly moving on to the next.

Janita R. Hall-Swadley said...

I am mesmerized by her work, especially Red Mums. You know, after reading your blog everyday, my knowledge in the textile arts has been greatly enhanced. Previously I considered textile arts only in terms of craft, i.e., sewing, basket weaving, etc., but there is so much more. Here we see art for art's sake, and I love it!

John Hopper said...

Thanks for all your comments about Ellin Larimer's work, and J.R. I am glad that in some small way that The Textile Blog has shown you that textiles and art can be used in the same sentance without it being disparaging.

The next textile artist to be featured will be Wen Redmond.

Sharon A. Keyser-Jackson said...

Absolutely beautiful! I just love them all!