About Erica Cordell

Art by Erica Cordell

Erica Cordell

Artist statement:

Experiments with paint and drawing led me to the paint technique of Frottage and Scrappage. Rubbing the often unnoticed that is underfoot on city pavements is my favourite practice. What is found and revealed on the paper or canvas is often unexpected.
‘Shell’ is metallic gold powder, shellac, pigment and acrylic on paper. As I made ‘Shell’ strong emotions and tears flowed. The voice of the massacred, the ‘wronged’, the poor, the lost and the ‘walked over’ surfaced. I imagined hell. I felt sorrow for the earth, for sentient beings. The metal shell petrol pump service point in the Wells Street pavement, Redfern, is no longer there. It was by the driveway at the back of a funeral parlour.

Someone once said the picture would look good in the foyer of a bank. That reminded me of when I frottaged from a grate in Martin Place near where a homeless man had sadly been murdered. I left the image in the entrance of a bank (unopened at the time) to dry off. A person walked past and said ‘are you trying to make a statement’ That was in 2008 just before the world of finance had a crisis.
I had intended to cut ‘Shell’ down into smaller pieces but along with rough edges and rawness decided to leave it whole. I wanted to exhibit Shell in the Abercrombie Window Gallery as I hoped the image might brighten the day or night of a passerby. We need to keep buoyant particularly as we experience the crisis pandemic that we are in now.

The small work on paper titled ‘ Yellow Envelope 50 cents’ is also a rubbing. It could be a comment about art or rather the ‘art world’ money, commodity. It can also link to the work of Ray Johnson (1927 -1995) described as ‘New York’s most famous unknown artist’ Thankfully my role is to do the work and not write about it. ‘The artist’s job is not to succumb to despair but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence’ A Gertrude Stein quote from Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris.

Art Project:
I’m working towards exhibiting a collection of pavement prints in honour of Sari Deines ‘Soho Sidewalks 1953 – 55’ (see www.sarideinesfoundation.org)
Also working towards a digital portfolio and survey of my art work to date.

Brief Biography:
Born in Canberra 1960, lived in Sydney.
BA Visual Art S.C.A
Drawing Cert. National Art School.
Broken Hill Art Exchange Residency 2008, 2015.
https://www.brokenhillartexchange.org.au/Erica-Cordell.php
Worked as Visual Merchandiser/ Window Dresser, David Jones Sydney.
Exhibited at Fairfield Museum Gallery with Lorraine Maggs and Madeleine Halliday
Exhibited in Michelle Collocott’s Window Gallery.
Working as a Community Services Worker in homelessness
Current Studio Practice – Wilson Lane Darlington. 2021