Albuquerque artist Ellen Babcock creates works that are a meditation on humanness influenced by spiritual traditions of non-dualism.
Ellen Babcock’s varied creative practices draw inspiration from a panoply of materials and processes and range from sculptural installations and collaborative public projects to large watercolor and pencil works on paper.
“This exploration in paint and drawing has been happening sporadically for many years—I consider it a meditation on humanness influenced by spiritual traditions of non-dualism I first encountered in Santa Fe, New Mexico in the early 1990s. Like many, I had drifted to the desert to seek spiritual meaning and solace. To start these paintings, I make a very loosely controlled gesture with watery paint, an event that births colors, shapes, and paper undulations that then become the context for coaxing out a pencil drawing, often only visible upon close inspection. These pencil drawings are usually figurative in some way—eyes or hands, very tentatively and lightly drawn. I often think about pareidolia—the tendency to see faces in abstract form—as an example of the mind’s inclination to identify with its own thoughts rather than more simply with the state of just being.”
Ellen is an associate professor of art practices at the University of New Mexico and the founding director of Friends of the Orphan Signs, an organization that places public art in abandoned road signs. The FOS project Reviver won a 2013 Americans for the Arts Public Art Year in Review award, and her recent watercolor painting, Oracle, won a juror’s award at the 2021 Crocker-Kingsley biennial exhibition. Ellen has exhibited in numerous California and New Mexico venues, including Southern Exposure in San Francisco and the Center for Contemporary Arts and New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe.
Albuquerque, NM | ellenbabcock.net | @ellen.babcock