Elisa’s powerful installations take us from the neon rapture of a dance stage into the quiet bliss of a floating word garden. And how? All through the power of words and light.
Although her recent pieces explore the various states of dreaming, these artworks wake us up better than a cold bath and a bloody mary. Her recent project saw 10 dancers perform against human-sized mirrored lettering spelling out the word DREAMERS, which was the title of the piece. This ambitious installation and dance performance showcased the collaborative efforts of the artist, a sound producer, choreographer, director and dance troupe, taking viewers “from sleep into dream, a dance in the liminal space of twilight to the edge of night.”
Other notable pieces include the Garden of Floating Words, a cluster of poetry that floats delicately in Jubilee Gardens, London, and A Solid Wish Scatters, which throws a poem from the pavement onto the famous concrete wall in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester. At the moment, Elisa’s very own solo exhibition Building Text commissioned by Broadgate, London and curated by Rosie Glenn is open to visitors: spanning three buildings in the area until 26th October 2018.
Though based in Manchester, Elisa’s commissions have taken her across the world: from the Faroe Islands to illuminating the mountain sides of Seydisfjordur, Iceland. In 2014 she was commissioned as a Red Bull Creative to create an installation in their studios, and since then has been shortlisted for the international Darc Awards in 2016 and 2017.
However, enlightening the world with her artwork is not all Elisa does with her time. After all, we are talking about a woman whose nail varnish matches the RGB colour palette of her lighting tech.
Whilst in the winter months Elisa creates brilliant installations, in summer she co-directs the biennial Manifest Arts Festival. Last year the festival showcased over 250 artists in open studios, events and exhibitions for 5 full days across venues in Manchester, Salford and Bolton. She is currently coordinating the next festival which will run on 11th – 20th July 2019.
Elisa commented: “I’ve personally always had the split between artistic practice and curation. Even when I was studying at Manchester School of Art, I ran The Link Gallery for 2 years, curating weekly exhibitions alongside developing my practice as a Light and Text Artist.”
Elisa acknowledges it can be very challenging to balance the two disciplines since planning such a large festival can take time away from her personal artistic practice. However she also commented, “Festival planning isn’t always serious. Sometimes you get to climb a beard!” (This is a true story: she has indeed scaled Engels’ beard in Salford.)
See more of Elisa’s impressive work on her website here.
This is another article from my artist feature series, researched and written by myself on UK-based artists I admire. You can read more about how to become a full-time artist through equally illuminating articles about Richard Day and Juliette Hamilton.