'Tiles of Wonder' by Elles - Group exhibition at NDSM Fuse gallery Amsterdam
11-01-2019 until 08-03-2019
Exhibition in Sir John Soane's Museum 2018
The winning drawings of the World Architectural Festival will be exhibited from 21 Februari - 14 April 2018 in the Sir John Soane's Museum in London.
Come visit this extraordinary museum and enjoy my 173 inch long hand drawing.
Nomination World Architectural Festival 2017
Make Architects, Sir John Soane's Museum and the World Architecture Festival have come together to create a prize for architectural drawing. The Price recognises the continuing importance of hand drawing but also embraces creative use of digitally produced renderings.
Elles 360 degrees panorama drawing of the Dam Square in Amsterdam was nominated and commended by the Jury of World Architectural Festival 2017.
The drawing was shown during the festival in Berlin.
Collaboration Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Exposition in Salon West Art Gallery
Publication in Dolce Vita Diamond Magazine 2016
Draw a Line
Elles Middeljans shows you cities from unexpected perspectives.
If you think you’re aware of your surroundings, think again. Or, take a look at the line drawings by Elles Middeljans. Working under the name Studio Ellessi, she renders urban landscapes in a way you’ve rarely before seen. She’s based in Amsterdam, a city that regularly turns up in her work, but she’s also captured the streets of San Francisco and Istanbul, to name but a few others. Middeljans playfully captures the details of urban life that catch her eye, resulting in imaginative works of art. With Dolce Vita Diamond, she converses about what, exactly, makes her tick.
What are your favourite subjects for an artwork?
The elements of the man-made world fascinate me. Almost all things that we use in daily life are designed and made by someone, either by machine or by hand. Somewhere, someone began with an idea, and subsequently made a concept, a design, a mock-up and ultimately a physical product. This goes for almost every single item we use. Imagine how much time and assiduousness is put in everything we see around us.
Buildings are interesting elements of cities because you can be inside them. I see architecture as a receptacle for the personal stories and experiences of the people who use it. A building can be beautiful, it can be ugly, but it’s almost always worthy of a thorough look.
In addition to architecture, industrial machines captivate me. They are designed and made to serve us. When I’m in a factory or another industrial place, I see, hear and smell the working processes, which never seem to stop. The form-follows-function appearances of such designs are often breathtaking.
I always base the final choice for a drawing’s perspective on the extent to which it appeals to my imagination.
Could you describe your personal drawing process?
I love the forms I see in the details of the object I’m rendering. Drawing is similar to touching and following every edge of an ornament, exploring its curves and corners. It’s a wonderful experience. When drawing pieces of architecture, I try to discover what the architect had in mind while designing it, and even what might have gone astray during its building process.
Only a few people in this world truly seem to take the time to observe the daily life that surrounds them. Yet, I’m happy to do just that–it’s like my yoga exercise. That is–very Zen. I like to view my own work as homage to various vantage points I’ve discovered, and captured in cities.
I prefer to draw outside, and I’m therefore subject to weather conditions, passersby, traffic, birds and much else, which all influence my drawings. Urban scenes are never static, changing every second, and I draw what I see at the very instant I focus on a particular detail. Therefore, my drawings encompass many different moments in one image. The cranes, the road signs and the clothes that people wear in my drawings, allow them to be identified by the date, or year, that I drew them. My drawings have an aspect of dynamicism and cartoonishness, precisely because I draw without using a ruler. I instead use the same line style and detailing for the foreground and the background. This allows the viewer of my work to come closer, and discover something new and unexpected, every time it’s looked at.
After I finish a drawing in pencil, I trace all of its lines with India ink, which generates further contrast, and a longer shelf life, or better even: wall-life.
How did you first become interested in drawing?
Of all subjects during secondary school, I enjoyed drawing classes the best, and because of that, I also followed extra drawing and sculpture lessons, outside of school. During my studies at the Design Academy Eindhoven, in the Netherlands, there was once an assignment about flexible office space. It made me wonder in what kind of surroundings I would most like to work on a day-to-day basis. I first began to draw in a supermarket, and in tram number 10 here in Amsterdam, because I very much liked the idea of having my desk in such a place. I feel most comfortable when I’m surrounded with people, immersed in city-life, and I like to see my view constantly change.
My teachers and fellow students were immediately enthusiastic about my drawings. However, I didn’t see any possibility or future potential within them, at that time. That would only come later. In the mean time, I worked at a publishing firm for about seven years. This experience left me with a deep understanding of the value of an image–the image–on a singular piece of paper.
From what spot would you like to draw next?
I currently live and work in Amsterdam, and I haven’t nearly finished with that city yet. It’s endless in its possibilities for interesting vantage points from which to draw. That city makes me so happy; precisely because it’s beautiful, international, and fairytale-like in character; it’s filled with architectural ornament, much of it on the city’s often leaning little houses. I’ll certainly be here for quite some time.
Publication in Het Parool
Nomination FX Awards 2015
FX Awards Drawing competition 2015
FX celebrated its latest drawing competition with the first of two exhibitions at BDG architecture+design in the summer at its fabulous offices on the river Thames.
Elles Middeljans' work was chosen by Natasha Bonugli of BDG architecture+design. Artist Elles Middeljans works as Studio Ellessi
Elles new shop experience 'Detail Amsterdam' opened its doors on June 20th 2014
Under the name 'Studio Ellessi' Elles opened her first exposition as a pop-up shop called 'Detail Amsterdam'.
This new concept offers tourists and citizens of Amsterdam unique and artisan products that are hand made in Amsterdam.
A painting of 6 x 4.5 meters of Elles’ home interior made the visitor feel like being in the artist’s house. The installation in the middle of the space, made of mummified furniture decorated with a black textile ribbon, revealed Elles technique of drawing.
The installation was used as a display for a colourful collection of brand new souvenirs as lamps, pillow cases, bags, cards, posters and more.