Pictura Gallery

Ella Morton | The Dissolving Landscape

December 7, 2022


CURATORIAL STATEMENT

In Ella Morton’s photographs, the land, water and sky seem to breathe and pulsate with life force. She shows the fragile, exquisite beauty of a living world in flux. The images compress layers of time, bringing destructive actions from the past, the present landscape, and the possible future all together into one precarious moment. In this way, she helps us comprehend the extent of the loss that we face.

Morton creates forms on the page that feel like waves of energy sweeping over the earth’s foundations. That dramatic action is striking in these otherwise serene landscapes. The pictures sound like an avalanche, like a skyscraper buckling in the knees before it falls.

In Pakri Lighthouse, Morton centers the piece on the lighthouse, a historic symbol of safety and the promise of solid ground. But here, it is cracking up and evaporating. What was fixed has become thin air. The disintegrating shadows make for a disconcerting inversion.

In Morton’s color work, the interventions on the film are unpredictable. At times the liquid damage moves like a breath across the frame, staining the atmosphere with electric color. The scenes are at once magical and dangerous, like radioactive water, fascinatingly contaminated.

Ella Morton’s photographs bring fresh power to the issues surrounding climate change, through her intimate relationship to the land and the unusual physical techniques she employs on the surfaces. In her beautiful photographs, the presumed solidity of the world begins to melt, and existing and impending loss is viscerally felt


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