Unfortunately, due to health issues this exhibition has been cancelled until further notice


This week has been one of the most frustratingly painful times of my life, finding myself in hospital for the second time this month with the same complaint. Needless to say, life has been put on hold until the problem is resolved.

Nevertheless, this little issue wont stop me painting which is a good thing. In fact, I see it as a opportunity to review my work to date, and re-evaluate the direction of the current series of work. A commentator on the painting”Leap of Faith” made the observation that the yellow ribbons emphasised the movement, giving more definition to the composition.

Leap of Faith

Leap of Faith

Another question asked of me with regard to a current project was, “Why are you painting your dancers naked?” My answer was “I want to break the movement down to its most simple without the distraction of colour and costume.”Part 2

These two conversations made me stop and think. I started studying dancers with flowing garments, then researched photos of dancers in the nude. The nude photos were posed making them a disjointed snap shot. I then flicked back to the clothed dancers with flowing fabric accentuating movement set to choreography and a musical score. One form was alive, the other stilted, uncomfortable.

I then took a step back and looked at the current project alongside ‘Leap of Faith’ and noticed both had one thing in common. There was movement in both much like the photos of the dancers with flowing clothes. As mentioned earlier the ribbons did the trick with ‘Leap of Faith’ and yet in the ‘Project’ it was the wave action. In this painting, if I dressed the figures, the clothing would detract from the simplicity of movement.

It all comes back to asking the question, “what is the message I am trying to convey?” The answer is movement and energy of body, soul and music. There is no one way to portray the concept, there are many, and my aim is to make the message as simple as possible without detracting from the beauty of the human form.

“Balance in all things”.



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About Ellis Burgess

A number of people have said that ‘it’ (whatever ‘it’ is) is in Ellis’s genes and to some extent they may be correct. Her grandmother painted and so did her mother. Marge Barley started painting when she was 9 years old and achieved some acclaim in New Zealand. In turn, her mother, Ellis’s Grandmother started much later in life more from compulsion than conscious desire. Ten years ago a well-intentioned friend shoved a paintbrush into Ellis’s clenched fist, forcefully moving her hand between paint pot and paper until it moved of its own volition in a frenetic frenzy attended by a torrent of tears born of bewilderment and frustration, unaware of the wild colour patterning the fury within. Ellis’s mother had passed away three years earlier from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. From these inauspicious beginnings Ellis began to paint, and for a short time attended classes at the Hamilton Society of Arts in New Zealand. Seven years ago, Ellis and her husband moved to the Gold Coast where she met Stephen Buntrock of the Gold Coast Art School. With his encouragement, painting became more than just something to do. It became a passion. Another passion is dance. Ellis loves the musical synergy of movement, the human form working with rhythm mood and emotion, sensing the freedom as the dancer soars across the floor with effortless ease. Like a lot of little girls, she was sent off to ballet in a somewhat desperate attempt by her grandfather to stop her stomping around the house. Eleven years later Ellis was selected to dance with NZ Ballet Company in a season of the Nutcracker. Did Ellis stop stomping? No. Ballet was to be her life; that was until she met the man of her dreams. Never the less, ballet has featured in much of her adult life by way of teaching and outlets of involvement. Ellis quickly discovered another outlet was painting. She spent a long time pondering on the skill set required to achieve her vision; how to portray the artistry of movement, the musicality and rhythm of dance, and the genius of the human form on canvas. Attempting different techniques, she learnt she is not an illustrator, but a painter who gravitated towards free movement. In her quieter moments Ellis often wonders what her mother would say if she were still here, left only with her paintings languishing against the wall. As an apprentice in the art of painting Ellis hopes the path ahead will be clear, perhaps meander elegantly at her will. Maybe it will broaden out to a huge piazza where she may sit for a long while, then later choose the many paths that transverse the piazza or continue again down the main road.