Eli Acheson-Elmassry is interested in investigating the physical and metaphysical relational nature of living and inanimate things. Those articles that exist significantly in her life, her intuited relationship with them through their usage or communication is a focal point of formal exploration and material visual manifestation. At times these items may have involved power struggles with her own preferred idea of a personal identity. Through handling, observing and contemplation, a deeper examination of the make-up of the self, it's identity and sentience is conceived anew through her art. This creative activity probes social and spiritual issues and the wider political domains, including the complex strata of the realisation of personality, the nature of the soul and the physics of consciousness.
Eli Acheson-Elmassry works across a range of sculptural, fabric and painted media including latex to create coloured flexible ‘Supple-Body’ sculptures and installations which are a kind of meta-object. Video and illumination may be incorporated. Using common household or large man-made objects, she grasps and re-forms items of significance to her in order to recondition their role, suggest new alignments of meaning and lay out alternative psyches of shape. Her recent work resembles coloured skins, intensely saturated yet semi-transparent and with an elastic fragility, a kind of socio-psychological epidermis.
The sources, similarities and contradictions of religious beliefs offer themselves to philosophical questioning, following her experience of life within both Christian and Muslim households in Britain, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Questions that penetrate a reading of the historical and worldwide responses to the human intimations of a spiritual dimension within and out-with ourselves are a focus of poetic exploration and expression. Issues of territory, geo-political, domestic, familial, together with recent conflicts of understanding between the secular and the spiritual, are of concern. Through her work she aims to make connections of feeling and thought between these differing realms, offering challenges to routine assumptions.
Now based in North Wales, Acheson-Elmassry attended Glasgow School of Art (1990) and Leeds Metropolitan University (MFA 2000). She lived for six years in Saudi Arabia (2004-2010), where her artwork received national recognition. Since a major solo exhibition in Jeddah in 2010 she has been exhibiting across Europe and the Middle East as well as in London and in Wales.