Interview: Linden Eller
Born in 1984, Linden spent her youth in the urban Sonoran desert of Phoenix, Arizona before moving to Southern California to obtain her BA in Studio Art. She’s since lived and worked out of New England, Europe, India, Australia, Samoa, New Zealand, and currently Japan.
This primary interest in place and self-archival attracted her to the collage medium. Using a combination of found fragments and personal elements, she composes floating abstract shapes sewn together with thread on paper. Her work centers around themes of memory, its process, and the layers of small alterations which happen each time something is recollected. She also aims to communicate the melancholy in unresolved matters, like her brother’s autism, or natural losses.
Choosing a distinctly pale colour palette together with the use of tracing paper, her pieces attempt to replicate the quiet hazy environment from which a memory is recalled. Blending autobiographical narratives with larger collective subjects such as childhood, longing, and home, Linden thinks of her collages as field recordings from the mind.
Linden’s work has been mentioned online in Frankie & Yen magazines and been included in numerous publications such as Inside Artists, Making The Cut Vol. 1, Thistle Magazine, Art Ascent, and Lynda Hallinan’s book Jam Sessions. Recent residencies include Tiapapata Art Centre (Samoa), Cowwarr Art Space (Australia), and Tenjinyama Art Studio (Japan).
How does using collage as your medium play into the ideas you try to get across in your art?
Collage is the perfect medium for memory themes as they naturally parallel each other in many ways. My work isn't just about my own narrative - and thanks to the medium I am using both personal and random components to try and communicate a more collective perspective. These scraps and pieces themselves hold an entire history of their own. Then altering those pieces and layering them in fragments, I'm able to mimic the actual process of remembering - an incredibly inaccurate, shifting, and multifaceted act.
When did you decide on the color palette you are currently working in?
I've never really made a conscious decision as it seems like my colors chose me rather than the other way around. My palette has always been intuitive and hasn't changed much in the past eight years. I'm typically inspired by soft pale brights but am beginning to add in some more bold elements when I feel bored with my own color habits!
What is the first thing you do when you sit down to create a collage?
I start with one piece I'm really excited about and start connecting things from there. My process is quite subconscious/ instinctive and since this can be difficult to pause, it's not uncommon for me to finish a work in one sitting.
Is there anyone in particular who inspires your work?
So many! I'm largely inspired by the abstract expressionist painters of the 40's and 50's as well as many contemporary artists of a similar genre - at the moment Sarah Kelk, Bonnie Grey, and Sander Steins.
You mention your color palette has a lot to do with the idea of memory and the haziness of memory. Are there other aspects of your collages that play with the same ideas?
Definitely. Building up layers of transparency also help achieve this notion of haziness. The tracing paper elements act as faders, almost like partially erasing, or forgetting something.