Zoe Elwood at 35×35

Zoe Ellwood, “Sheltered,” 2023, assemblage, 65 x 48 x 60 in.


“Sheltered” by Zoe Ellwood is a poignant installation piece that employs the remnants of domesticity to explore the complexities of comfort and confinement within the context of childhood memories. The work is composed of an aged and worn bed frame, consisting of a headboard and footboard, which are repurposed to support a fragile shelter. Draped over this skeletal structure is a canopy fashioned from a cloth rich in golden threads, suggesting a veneer of luxury amidst deterioration.

“‘Sheltered'” describes dualities felt while remembering childhood,” the artist says. “Structures that provide comfort, can also confine. Regardless, neither of these perspectives will protect against decay.” Ellwood’s narrative behind “Sheltered” is layered, addressing the dichotomy between security and restriction. The bed, traditionally a symbol of rest and sanctuary, is transformed into a makeshift fort, a universal childhood construct that signifies both a hiding place and a site of imaginative play. However, the transparency and tattered condition of the materials imply vulnerability and the passage of time. The shelter, while providing a semblance of protection, is not impervious to the wear and inevitable decay that life brings. This piece speaks to the inherent tension in the places and things that offer us solace—they are also the very things that can entrap us.

Elwood is an interdisciplinary artist from central Utah, who utilizes a range of materials including: painting, printmaking, drawing, collage, and assemblage. Ellwood’s works have been exhibited in local spaces including the galleries at Utah Valley University (UVU), JKR Gallery in Provo, UT (2022), and Eccles Art Center in Ogden, UT (2023), as well as nationally at Modern Visual Arts Gallery in Bethlehem, PA (2023).

In January, Ellwood was the inaugural artist in a series of pop-up exhibition at Odd Duck Studio in Provo, UT. This was the inaugural show of the Emerging Artist Series that will be regularly held at Odd Duck Studio, which Ellwood is working with studio director Adam Thomas to design.


Artists of Utah’s 35×35Finch Lane Gallery, Salt Lake City, through Feb. 23

Categories: 35x35

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