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Eleanor McColl

Eleanor McColl is a multi-disciplinary artist, based in Hong Kong. She studied Fine Art at U.W.E Bristol, in England and came to Hong Kong in 1999 to pursue her career as an artist and art educator.

McColl's work is rooted in place with a focus on the urban environment.   Her work draws the eye to the often unnoticed details of the city, casting the "shadows on the wall" of the modern human condition: often solitary, hardworking and hardwearing.  Through manipulation of focus, her work explores the delicate points of contact in the otherwise ceaseless blur of the everyday anonymous citizen.

Drawn to the dramatic palate of dilapidation, refurbishment and renewal, her cityscapes explore the interface between Hong Kong's unique verticality and it's impact on its people. 

“I am interested in capturing those small but arresting details which catch my eye as walk through the city. It could be a flash of colour from a dangling piece of washing, or a mop resting against a rusty peeling door. I find the contrast of blurring and sharp focus fascinating, so I typically use soft-focus techniques which obscure the surrounding scene to reveal pockets of fine detail".

About Island Weave

Island Weave forms a composite image using two photographs, one in focus, and one out of focus. The resulting weave makes the eye restless as it searches to connect the interspersed squares of clarity and blur. The effect destabilises the signs and symbols of the urban landscape so that a taxi’s bold red blends with a tenement’s pocked yellow, or the dark grey of the asphalt melds with the forest green of a tram. 

An inverse synesthesia takes places as the word objects in the world are reduced to smears and smudges of colour. The inflexible realism of the photograph reduced to impressionism and abstraction.

Each handwoven image is part of a limited edition collection of 10.

About HK People

This new collection is a work in progress, which expands upon the Zodiac Collection.

Hong Kong People explores the idea that the city ‘clothes’ us, that some part of our identity is derived from the place in which we live.

The collages in this collection depict the silhouettes of common, yet often unseen, characters from the everyday (rubbish collectors, street sweepers etc). By crowding these easily identifiable characters with anonymous tramways, fast food kiosks, taxis and aircon units, the image echoes the bustle of street life. Jagged and sharp lines recreate the tension between the organic and artificial that is ever present in the metropolis.

About Portholes

This series of photomontage uses a similar device to Island Weave. Instead of blurred and focused images interwoven, a ‘porthole lens’ is superimposed upon typical Hong Kong street scenes. These pools of focus, or ‘ripples’ give a rare insight into the landscape, drawing the eye away from classic composition, to pockets of activity and detail that we might so easily gloss over. The details that make up the whole that are so easily overlooked.The photomontage is redolent of old pavement art under rain, yet this rain clarifies and defines, rather than blurs and distorts. Hence, an open window, a clockface, the hem of a skirt all come to occupy their own worlds within the greater composition: the seemingly insignificant gaining importance.

Each image is one of a Limited Edition of 10.

About the Zodiac Collection

In China, the units of time were once named after animals. This convention is still used informally, and the Chinese zodiac is a well known folk tale to this day. The collection depicts the twelve animals that represent each year of a 12 year cycle. Photographs of transport, accommodation and commerce are ripped, torn, then spliced together, eliciting the ever-changing face of Hong Kong: the cycles of time overlapping like the pictures in the collage.

The black and white images could easily be vintage captures, giving these pieces an ageless quality. This is enhanced by the recurring slivers of one of Hong Kong’s iconic modernist skyscrapers, Jardine House – a building considered old despite its construction in 1972.  The juxtaposition of an ancient form of measuring time, and the trend in Hong Kong to constantly rebuild and replace, lends an interesting tension to these otherwise fun and whimsical forms.

These images are limited edition archival pigment prints.  100 of each animal only, so snap them up before they all go!