During the summer of 2021, Ellen cast the bodies of 30 women who travelled from across the UK to her studio in Bristol. She painted the 30 casts gold and interviewed each of the women. Their golden casts and the stories that they hold were exhibited at Centrespace Gallery in Bristol (27.08.21-01.09.21). The golden casts were also photographed (by Bristol-based photographer Alice Poole) before being returned to the 30 women. Inside this book are those photos of the casts, and the incredibly powerful stories of the women.
Through this project, the women who have participated have reconnected to their bodies after facing trauma. They have shared powerful, personal stories spanning themes such as motherhood, sexual assault, domestic abuse, coming of age, grief, stalking, gender, sexuality, race, disability, mental health and self-love.
This is a project and platform to celebrate the diversity and beauty of women's bodies and a space to share stories that we so often carry in silence.
A Note from the Artist:
It is an honour to have worked with these 30 incredibly bold and brave women who have celebrated their bodies as art and shared their experiences with you and me.
I invite you to open this book, view the shape of each woman's body, and then read her story and hear her voice. Connect her form to all that it carries and holds, and think of its future and all that it deserves.
Ellen Downes, 2021