Ella Barclay: A feeling of lost connections

Ella Barclay’s first institutional solo exhibition, I Had To Do It at UTS Gallery, is entered down a long darkened corridor. Blinds pulled down over the gallery’s floor‑to‑ceiling windows, obstruct the light and sway to the air‑conditioning. Turning the corner one encounters a cluster of five scrunched‑up paper objects accompanied by a series of pale blue sculptural squiggles, Greetings Program (best left unsaid) (2016). The large sheets, washed with violet, pale blue and yellow watercolour, are overlaid with erratic note‑taking. The barely legible handwriting leads the eye across the folds and contours of the paper. Hand‑cut and coloured letterforms are pasted onto the sheets, peeling away at the edges. I can make out a single phrase: “Make them suffer”.

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