Margaret Elliot

My paintings are an expression of a life long fascination with the dramatic forms of the land and sky. New Zealand has a varied and dynamic coast line changing from sweeping expanses of fluid sand to jagged rock tilted and deformed by geological processes. I construct my images with an awareness of the movement and patterns resulting from the forces of nature that create landforms and cloud shapes which gives the work its dynamic quality.

I have explored the human imprint upon the coast in a series of paintings of eroding and obsolete structures such as WW2 defence buildings, derelict baches and seawalls. No longer maintained, these artefacts of human activity succumb to the action of wind, sand and water slowly merging with the landscape they occupy.

In 1998 I travelled to Antarctica as a recipient of the Artists to Antarctica fellowship. Experiencing the stark and minimal forms of the Antarctic environment has had a profound influence upon my work. Initially I focused upon the fractal nature of the ice formations and the ambiguous and confusing experience of a landscape that has none of the cues to ascertain scale and distance. I also became attuned to the subtle whites and greys enlivened by the intense blue green of ice  and blue streaks of sky characteristic of this terrain.

In subsequent visits to Antarctica  as a staff member with the Graduate Course for Antarctic Studies I continued to explore ambiguities of scale in relation to our encampment and activities upon the ice looking at tracks and tents in relation to the expanse beyond. I exhibited this series of works in an exhibition entitled Tented Spaces at the Christchurch Art Gallery.
My latest series of paintings is the result of a visit to the Chatham Islands in 2009. They express a sense of isolation, big skies, quality of light and ever present reminders of decay and renewal

I usually work with oil paint on board or canvas sometimes including mixed media to enrich the paint surface and add dimension to the work. I also have exhibited monoprints and etchings.

Please check out my blog for more information and some of my latest work: