From May-June 2022, Ellen cast the busts of 100 women and non-binary people who travelled from across the UK to her studio in Bristol. She painted the 30 casts gold and worked with each of the women to tell their stories of sexual assault and harassment. Their golden casts and the stories that they hold were exhibited at Centrespace Gallery in Bristol (24-29 June). The golden casts were also photographed (by Bristol-based photographer Mercedes Polo Portillo) before being returned to the 100 who made this project possible.
Just as the 100 golden busts lined the walls of the gallery, they line the pages of this book. In rows and in solidarity - as armour. The 100 body casts are presented alongside their powerful stories. They are standing together in resistance and their voices fill these pages.
A Note from the Artist:
It is an honour to have worked with these 100 incredibly bold and brave individuals 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 body, and then read their story and hear their voice. Connect their form to all that it carries and holds, and think of its future and all that it deserves.
Ellen Downes, 2022
Trigger warning: Please be aware that this book contains stories of sexual violence, assault and harassment.