Exhibition: Crooked Water

12 February 2022 : 9:00 AM - 27 February 2022 : 4:00 PM

A dazzling exhibition of painted works by Ellis Pearson, inspired by Claude Monet’s series of Haystacks, Rouen Cathedral facades and so on.

Exhibition Dates:  12 February - 27 February 2022

Opening Exhibition evening: Saturday, 12 February 2022 @ 6pm

"Inspired by Claude Monet’s series of paintings – the haystacks, Rouen Cathedral facades and so on - I have chosen two iconic Australian subjects. I have rendered these subjects at different times of the day, with different light and atmosphere, and different colouring. The paintings are large, and with each canvas my aim has been to create a sense of peace and draw the viewer into a meditative-like experience.

I am continually awed by the beauty of nature and the effect of sunlight falling on the world around us. It has been my desire to share my love of, and respect for the natural world with my audience. I hope that each viewer of my paintings will somehow be affected by the experience and in turn find their love of nature enriched." - Ellis Pearson

About Ellis Pearson:

Artist Ellis Pearson in their studioEllis started oil painting when he was ten years old. After school he trained for three years as a graphic designer and then as a painter. At this point he was bitten by the theatre bug and he realised that the artist could become the moving picture or sculpture. So, he studied drama at university and then in Paris at the Ecole Jacques Lecoq where mime, movement and mask work are emphasised. 

For the next 35 years Ellis was part of theatre companies and small groups devising a visual, image-based style of theatre. He has performed all over the world.

All this time his love for painting never faded. Over the years he evolved a very energetic, gestural way of painting. He has exhibited and sold his work in galleries and at art festivals in South Africa and Perth.

Eleven years ago, Ellis and his family moved from South Africa to Perth, discovering one of the world's best kept secrets - Darlington. He was delighted to find that Robert Juniper - whose work he had always admired - lived up the road. Meeting Robert and watching him work in his stunning studio, has been a standout moment for Ellis.

Ellis teaches theatre at WAAPA and at The Actors Hub and Curtin University. This gives him time to pursue his painting. His garden studio, surrounded by noisy cockatoos, kookaburras, peeping bandicoots, falling leaves, massive leaping trees, incredible autumn colours, startling pond reflections and the constant background sounds of insects, frogs and birds provides Ellis with plenty of material to fill his large canvases.

Meet the Artist

  • How my personal history has shaped my art practice: 
    The biggest influences on my painting practice have been my love of making theatre and making music. Also very important, has been my life-long spiritual practice which may partly be described as 'making the invisible visible'. Music practice has helped me understand that visual art can embody melody, harmony and rhythm. One can 'hear' the different tones in a painting. Just as music can create a particular atmosphere, a painting can do likewise. In a related process, my physical theatre practice has helped me embody movement and gesture in my canvases. I literally 'dance' when I paint, trying to make marks that are spontaneous and have that 'nameless' quality.

    Regarding my creative art practice as a spiritual journey, I have come to value my painting, for example, as a way to experience qualities such as stillness in the midst of movement, peace in the midst of a busy world, and the development of the capacity to see more deeply.

  • The meaning behind the title "Crooked Water"
    Poetry may be described as 'painting with words". Usually one would refer to a 'crooked' politician, or a crooked picture on the wall. For me, linking two unlikely words such as 'crooked' and 'water', paints an intriguing and imaginative and perhaps, playful, picture. More directly, the water tank that appears in many of my paintings is an old, rusty, and decidedly crooked metal object that sits so serenely in its field in Denmark. And the two rivers that are the subjects of other paintings - the Swan and Denmark rivers are so wonderfully 'crooked' in their endless twisting and turning.

  • Where I find my inspiration
    Nature! The incredible play of creatures, sky, air, trees, water, mountains, earth and earthworms. I feel that we as human two-legged creatures, are more interesting when we take a break from identifying ourselves as 'humanity' with it's seemingly unending anxiety, competitiveness and restlessness, and identify more with our 'creaturely' selves. With a sense of wonder, we can experience our indigenous nature. I have found that this a helped me become more aware of the beauty in the clouds, in the light from the sun, the day changing to night, the breeze that moves the trees.

Gallery Opening hours: 9–4 weekdays; 10–4 weekends
View more information on the gallery here.


50 Railway Road,
Zig Zag Gallery located in Perth Hills Visitor Centre

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