The Escape by Wendy Elia

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Encaustic painting on Canvas

167cm x 152cm

Wendy Elia - Love Crazy

“God in heaven! How am I to tell you that I am intoxicated with the faintest odour of you, that had I possessed you a thousand times, you would see me still more intoxicated, because there would be hope and memory where there is as yet only hope”

Letter from Balzac to Evelina Hanska, Jan 1834. They had agreed to postpone the ultimate fulfilment of their love until the death of her elderly husband. After many years of passionate correspondence , the couple finally married in 1850. Ironically Balzac survived his wedding day by only a few months.

Wendy Elia’s paintings in wax place together stills from different films and ask us to reconsider the boundaries between sacred and profane love. These juxtapositions create new – often more sinister – narratives and they question the woman’s (dis)appearance in the frame. The moment of stasis afforded by these images, however proves to be as tenuous as the material from which they are made. These encaustic works were originally displayed in pairs and activated by a live performance in the gallery space, pursuing a dialogue with the work which foregrounded the hold these images have over our concept of love and passion. Subverting the script of the typical love scene and questioning the difficulty of its enactment in both life and art.

The performance was written and produced by author and Art Historian Marie-Anne Mancio.