Wednesday, November 15

interview: ella harrington knapton (artist)

Ella Harrington Knapton is a Dunedin-based artist and collaborator, who is about to head off overseas for an artist residency in Japan. I caught up with Ella to talk about her plans and interesting projects she is working on.


Where are you now and when are you heading off on your residency?

I'm currently in Dunedin working all summer.  I’m travelling to Malaysia, India and Thailand for a short while before heading to Japan for an artist residency in March.

Why did you apply for this residency? 

Honestly, I was just having a really weird week and feeling a bit stuck (common winter Dunedin feelings) and started writing down some ideas for a drawing project. which quickly turned into a proposal that I sent off to a couple of places on the ResArtis website. All in one day haha. I was so surprised at the responses; I never thought it was that easy to do.

I chose this little place outside of Fukuoka because it had quite a diverse range of young artists visit recently. I spoke to a photographer from Belgium who was there and she really sold it to me. It’s a picturesque, traditional, rural area with mountains by the sea and the studio is a super relaxed and isolated working environment, so really you can take it as far as you like.

What projects have you been working on? 

I’m working on a little project where I’m making and collecting computer-based data like GPS tracking/traces and timelines and using them as drawing marks. I'm playing around with dislocation, disorder and control. I'm hoping to develop this work in Japan.

Another project I’m really excited about is a collaboration with Dunedin-based embroidery artist Lucinda King. We will work on the same giant bit of fabric and send it back and forth like a pen pal diary exchange, but with only stitches

Can you tell me about how your drawings got printed on shoes for a fashion show in China? 

I recently did a collaboration with F u r g who has made a ridiculously beautiful fashion collection for her Masters. I did the prints that were laser cut into the wooden shoes, which were part of this collection. F u r g was invited to an international showcase in Guangzhou. I also recently did a print collaboration with Company Of Strangers; it’s been a cool experience working with fashion designers this year.

What do you hope to be doing in 6 months' time? 

In six months I’ll still be in Japan but probably running out of money and trying to figure out where to move to next… I have no idea where I’m going to live. I'm thinking about heading to the blue mountains where my grandparents live and hiding out there for a while.

What are your three favourite objects in your bedroom? 

My ceiling-to-floor green velvet curtains, a pink ceramic “cat” my little brother made me years ago that is basically a curved fleshy log and maybe my faux wedding photo album.


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