Steve plastering (3)

I was made-up seeing you, he said. Made-up. Made full. Completed. MORDANT is made. My little white room. I will hold it in me, forever. That little white space of light. Just light and those words, indistinct, barely there. You need to look close. Some may not see them. They may walk in and then walk out again. That’s fine. That’s as it should be. Art doesn’t have to be for everyone.

Ellen painting (7)

It looks beautiful. It has a been a happy project. I love its physicality. I love that fact that you can walk inside it. Be within it. I am hooked.

Drawing at ODG (1)

He wanted to know the context. Who talked about Clacton? I can’t remember. Does it matter? Yes. He has a story. His own story. His ex-wife was from Clacton. Its all about stories – other people’s stories that I seek so as to eclipse mine. We are all the same. That is the draw. Our sameness not our difference. The listening was a joy. It always is. That stopping of one’s own story so that one can encounter and sit within another’s.

She suffers from anxiety, though she never speaks of it in those terms. I ask if she goes out each day. Not every day, no, she replies, though most mornings I say hello to the postman. Words tumble out of her. We talk of church, of her daughter and how her hands hurt now when she makes welsh cakes. Though a friend got me this cream, she tells me, its herbal, and that helps. Not for long but for a while. That’s good, I say. That’s good. I called her darling, last time. I couldn’t help myself. It is her vulnerability it brings out the tenderness in me. Sometimes she laughs and that, well that, makes me up.



By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.