Eleanna is a Brooklyn-based visual artist who creates work that explores the nature of human perception and our awareness of space/consciousness. Her interests lie in phenomena outside our definable quotidian experience- the things we feel but we cannot explain.
Originally from Chicago, Eleanna holds an MFA in Painting from the Tyler School of Art under the direction of Stanley Whitney and Dona Nelson and a BA with honors and distinction from Kenyon College with a concentration in Women’s and Gender Studies.
Eleanna’s honors and awards include: Yaddo Fellowship; BAU Institute Fellowship; Anderson Ranch Residency; The Atlantic Center for the Arts. Grants include: The Joan Mitchell Foundation; The Mayer Foundation; Artists' Fellowship Incorporated. She has shown her work internationally in: Prague; Vienna; Berlin and Rome. Institutional exhibitions include: the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art; Dolly Maas Gallery at SUNY Purchase College; South Bend Museum of Art and the National Hellenic Museum. Since 2014, Eleanna is Director of the artist-collective, Ortega y Gasset Projects. The latest exhibition she curated, Wish Me Good Luck, a solo debut of Monica Palma's work, was reviewed in the February issue of Art in America.
Somehow, my mother somatizes my emotions. She can physically feel, through what she refers to as "heart flutters" and more recently, by choking, when I am troubled, anxious, and confronted with a challenging situation. This feeling she experiences, cuts through space. She feels it in real-time, no matter our positions on the globe. We can be in different continents, in different time zones. She still feels it.
As an artist, living with this unique connection has guided my interest in phenomena outside our definable quotidian experience—the things we feel but we cannot explain. These impressions may evade our common perceptual framework, but they indelibly affect our decisions, emotions, and relationships. Just as a computer’s operating system, or motherboard, runs in the background, it serves as a platform through which all of our other “programs” are run, even though we are not mindful of it. So to, is our own internal operating system or paradigm. We view the world through a narrow and fixed western lens. I create work which cuts through existing perceptual frameworks and re-contextualizes them. I do this by manipulating the way light and space become form.
Viewers often have the urge to touch my work because the information they are receiving through their eyes doesn't feel sufficient. For example, a surface might be completely flat but appear to be very textured, or might look soft but it's very hard. As the brain scientist, Jill Bolte Taylor aptly put it: "We move through the world as if we are thinking beings that feel, however, biologically, we are feeling beings that think." My work highlights this experience.
b. 1980, evanston, IL
Lives and works in Brooklyn, New York