Wendy Elia works in series which explore the social and broader contexts of our times. In her portrait work she confronts our voyeurism and asks questions about the female gaze and painting’s relationship to authenticity and illusion.
Elia moves from the personal to the political not only in the range of content and form in the various series, but also within individual paintings: using a range of pictorial symbols and signifiers to extend the meaning/narrative of the works.
Wendy Elia trained at St Martins School of Art, London and has exhibited widely being a finalist in a number of national and international competitions which include 4 times at the National Portrait Gallery, as well as The Sovereign European Art Prize, and The Threadneedle Prize. Her work is also held in a number of public permanent art collections across the country.
In 2012 she was commissioned by Sherbourne House Arts and B-side (funded by the arts council) to paint a portrait of a local sports person as part of the cultural Olympiad in Weymouth and Portland. Also In 2012 she was given an arts council grant to develop a body of work (Histories in the Age of Confusion), which was completed in January 2013. She has also recently been commissioned by the Arts Council to produce work relating to women’s self portraiture. This culminated in a group show with work by Sarah Lucas, Miranda Whall, and others exhibited in September/October 2015. In Dec-March 2016-17 her painting ‘Maxime’ (On loan from the East Contemporary Art Collection) will be shown as part of an exhibition celebrating the life of Angela Carter (Strange Worlds: The Vision of Angela Carter). She is currently working towards a solo show in London for October 2016. Her studio is currently based in London where she also teaches and lectures.