When taken together, the pieces that make up James Ellwanger’s newest body of work entitled “The Sewn Collection”, reflect a juxtaposition of the luminous beauty of the natural world with that of the dark finality of urban decay. This striking contrast plays out in the vibrant colors, striking silhouettes and rich textures of the fabric canvases, each of which portrays a particular scene on the spectrum progressing from nature’s unspoiled vistas to the manufactured devastation wrought by humankind.
On a more personal level, the pieces represent a transition from of our purest indigenous selves to our lowest common denominators, brought about by the external forces of societal greed, oppression and fatality.
Images of individual, isolated towers looming over a sordid and polluted wasteland exist in sharp opposition to the innocent, unravaged vision of untouched, virginal landscapes. In them, one can see the progression of our journey as a species to a place very far removed – and far more dark – than our incipient birthright.