Carson Ellis at Nationale

by Grace Bonney

Carson Ellis’ work is the stuff of my wildest imagination and dreams. Her illustrations for the incredible Wildwood Chronicles series (written by her husband, Colin Meloy) were so beautiful and moving that they inspired me to turn them into a tattoo design. So when I say that I love her work, I really really mean it. I was thrilled to hear that Carson was having her first solo show of non-illustration work at Nationale in Portland. Carson hasn’t exhibited work like this in over seven years, so this show has been a long time in the making. The show, Mush, Mush, the Sloping Midnight Line, will highlight works on paper inspired in part by Norwegian novelist Sigrid Undset and her acclaimed Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy. I love the contrast of darkness and light in Carson’s work. Much like another of my favorite artists, Jen Corace, she masterfully balances that somewhat sinister and dramatic feel with imagery (like mushrooms, trees and flowers) that has a lightness and purity to it. Carson’s artwork will be accompanied by sculptures by Midori Hirose, whose work is also not to be missed. I’m going to catch the last day of the show when I’m in town for the Portland Bazaar again this year, but if you’re in the area and want to visit, the opening is this Saturday, November 17th from 6pm to 8pm. The show runs from today, November 14th, through December 9th, 2012. And if you’re out of town like me, you can check it out online at Nationale’s website. Thanks so much to May at Nationale for the information and images from the show. I can’t wait to see them in person. xo, grace

More images of Carson’s work after the jump . . .

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