Elaine Despins

La Source a soif d’être bue

….There is also a fascination with the ‘edges’ of Being, for example the way in which the body exists in space and with the tension between the desire to retain one’s identity and yet simultaneously submerge oneself in the ebb and flow of existence. This is played out to particular effect in her video work The Source is Thirsty to Taste Itself, in which a solitary figure in a darkened pool hovers at the point of surrender to assimilation.

This work itself is an extremely successful translation into video of an equally strong previous painting. In both cases Elaine has approached the work with her customary humility, diligence, and sensitivity. This allows her to move effortlessly from one context or medium to another. Paradoxically, the fact that she is not afraid of failure makes her work that much more successful.

Elaine’s strength as an artist lies in her vision, her technical ability and her willingness to take risks. These are the qualities which allow her to engage in a quiet yet deeply poetic and meaningful way with her subject matter, without falling into the trap of producing either simplistic or didactic artworks.

— Michael Bowdidge is an artist, writer and educator currently completing a PhD by practice at Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland.