Ellie Hopley - Communication Matters

Our newest commission for the Duchamp Wall is Communication matters, a larger than life cartoon by Ellie Hopley, who creates under her label Shuturp. A prolific digital artist, Ellie is building a reputation with her playful drawings comprised of unassuming lines and crayon-like colour for presenting unlikely observations on contemporary life.

Subversion, wit and irony are the tools of the cartoonist, who has traditionally taken to the page with a black line to pass commentary on political and social events of the day. Newspaper cartoons feature figures with exaggerated facial features or bodies, often accompanied by wry one-liners.

For Ellie her audience is Instagram, a contemporary platform for the artist/cartoonist to make savvy social observations on daily life. Her work sits somewhere between David Shrigley and Alexander Calder, where continuous line drawings and single panels of short text offer monologues or snippets of conversations. Ellie shares these honestly (and rapidly) in Instagram’s square format using contemporary language.

Everybody feels different ways in different situations; Ellie’s drawings recreate the tension in an overwhelming situation. Teasing apart feelings and reality, she also offers drawings that proclaim messages of acceptance and positivity. The work is relatable, humorous, and honest, broaching sexuality, relationships and awkward conversations.

The work created for the Duchamp Wall is bold. It speaks to the rising awareness of people who live with mental illness, and the need to care for them. It shows how ill-equipped we feel to care for each other, but also how hard it can be to ask for help. This cartoon confronts our responses to others through black humour, highlighting our weaknesses, ultimately aiming to create conversations.

According to Beyond Blue in any one year around 1 million adults in Australia suffer from depression and over 2 million with anxiety.

“Mental health can be overwhelming for those who have never experienced it. It’s hard to know what to say or what to do so it’s usually easier to do nothing. But instead of ignoring it, instead of being conditional with your relationships stay, listen, understand.” – Ellie.

The truth is, some conversations just become too big for family and friends. If you’re worried about someone or yourself and feel professional support is needed, contact your local doctor or the agencies below. Take a snapshot so you can make that call.

Arts Wellbeing Collective

Lifeline Ph: 13 11 14 (24 hours)

Kids helpline Ph: 1800 55 1800 (24 hours)

Ellie Hopley on why communication matters

Ellie spoke to us about her label Shuturp, as well as the meaning behind this commission.

Read more

Duchamp Wall

At HOTA we’re always looking for opportunities for local artists. Affectionately known as the Duchamp Wall (yes, it’s on a wall near a male toilet) this commission provides a blank canvas for local artists to create site-specific, temporary artwork and to extend their own practice.

The Duchamp Wall is a nod to Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968); a multi-media artist associated with Cubism, conceptual art, and Dada. He challenged the conventions of art making and famously declared a porcelain urinal as an artwork.

ArtLab: Big Art Feels with Ellie Hopley

Ellie will be back on 12 October to run ArtLab | Big Art Feels. A workshop for young artists who can put all the feelings (big, small, weird and wild) onto a canvas. Ellie will ensure they are confident in their work and proud of their creations.

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