Pictura Gallery

Ella Morton

The Dissolving Landscape

Dates + Events

January Pictura Kids: Dissolving Landscapes

Saturday, January 7 | 11:00am - 12:00pm

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January Gallery Walk: Ella Morton

Friday, January 6 | 5:00pm - 8:00pm

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December Pictura Kids: Dissolving Trees

Saturday, December 3 | 11:00am - 12:00pm

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December Gallery Walk: Ella Morton

Friday, December 2 | 5:00pm - 8:00pm

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On view at Pictura, December through January: the work of Ella Morton. The Dissolving Landscape (2016-21) is a series of experimental analogue photographs that examine climate change in the landscapes of Canada and Nordic Europe. The project asks the question: what are we losing, in terms of our spiritual connection to the land, as the climate rapidly changes? Morton’s material process expresses the complex relationship humans have with this landscape, which involves awe, admiration and exploitation.

Ella Morton (she/her) is a Canadian visual artist and filmmaker living in Toronto. Her expedition-based practice has brought her to residencies and projects across Canada, Scandinavia and Antarctica. Working primarily with lens-based media, she uses experimental analogue processes to capture the sublime and fragile qualities of remote landscapes. She earned a BFA from Parsons School of Design (New York) in 2008 and an MFA from York University (Toronto) in 2015. She has exhibited her work internationally, including shows at Lonsdale Gallery (Toronto), Foley Gallery (New York), the Center for Fine Art Photography (Fort Collins), Contemporary Calgary (Calgary), Galérie AVE (Montréal), Viewpoint Gallery (Halifax), Photographic Center Northwest (Seable), the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art (Kelowna) and Hanstholm Art Space (Denmark). Her practice has been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the National Film Board of Canada.

ellamorton.com

The Dissolving Landscape is a series of experimental analogue photographs that examine climate change in the Arctic and Subarctic landscapes of Canada and Nordic Europe. The project asks the question: what are we losing, in terms of our spiritual connection to the land, as the climate rapidly changes? I consider myself a poetic activist, articulating the profundity of our relationship with the land, and the emotional complexity of its change and loss as global warming unfolds.

The images are treated with mordançage and film soaking techniques. Mordançage is a black and white process that degrades the shadow areas of silver gelatin prints, lifting the emulsion off the paper to create unique textures and veils. Film soaking involves submerging colour film in various acidic solutions prior to exposure to warp the emulsion. My goal in using these processes is to capture the transcendent and fragile qualities of the landscape. The ways in which the images melt and degrade highlight the spiritual power of the natural environment and also lament its destruction as the planet warms.

This work also addresses how the medium of photography itself is in transition. The proliferation of consumer photography through the emergence of smart phones and social media has challenged artists to use the medium in new ways. I aim to uncover how photographs can show more than a straightforward depiction of reality, and how the alchemy of analogue techniques can be reinvented in the digital age to tell deeper stories within images.

Exhibits Archive