Mike Ellis is a prize winning, UK based artist who has exhibited across south and central England. He graduated in 2002 with a First Class Honours degree in Illustration, where his love of wabi-sabi prompted his prize-winning dissertation about the Japanese Samurai . Mike currently works as a secondary school and adult education art teacher, and regularly engages in community outreach programs throughout Kent; South-East England. His work has been shown in exhibitions and competitions including ‘The National Open Art Competition’, ‘Images: the Best of Contemporary British Illustration’ and at the world renowned ‘Affordable Art Fair’.
Ellis says “My childhood in Norfolk, watching and rescuing birds and animals, collecting bones and digging up skulls, led to a continued fascination with the fragile and fleeting nature of birds; something that I strive to capture a reflection of in these paintings. Imagery is combined with an assortment of inspiration and ideas to lend a quiet narrative or concept to each painting.”
His work can be identified as belonging to one of two categories-
‘MURMURATIONS’ is an ongoing collection of work based around birds that takes its title from the name given to a large flock of Starlings where the individuals fly together with something resembling a single, collective consciousness.
‘FLAWED BEAUTY’ is an exploration of the Japanese concept; Wabi-Sabi.
Featuring old doors and windows, peeling paint and rotting wood, this collection is built upon this traditional Japanese aesthetic. Centred on the acceptance of transience and of imperfection, wabi-sabi recognises the beauty of the natural cycle of growth, decay and death – it is a celebration cracks, crevices and all the other marks that time, weather and loving utility leave behind.