Erin Ross was born in 1983 in Edmonton, Alberta. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Alberta in 2006, and has also studied Visual Communication Design at Medicine Hat College. Her work has been represented in commercial galleries since 2008. Public attention for Erin's work has included an award of excellence in Illustration from Communication Arts magazine and a feature in its 2005 Design Annual, a feature article in Avenue Edmonton and SEE Magazine, a documentary segment on Alberta Primetime, and interviews with CBC Radio One and Profile magazine. Erin was recently nominated as an Emerging Artist for the 25th and 26th Annual Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts Awards. Erin lives and works in Edmonton, with her studio located in the historic Great West Saddlery building on 104th street.
Erin is extremely engaged in her community. She is dedicated to advocating for the arts in Edmonton, not only through her board work, but also by volunteering her time to assist on creative projects. She has volunteered for the EAC as well as M.A.D.E. Edmonton, and participated in various speaking engagements. She was a pecha kucha presenter at the Mayor’s Think Tank: Our Arts, Our City, and has worked with the cities Arts Visioning Committee. She believes in promoting art as a crucial social investment. She has demonstrated her commitment by giving back in several ways, whether it’s fundraising for the city's needy through the CTV Good Neighbour Fund, or engaging Art and Design students by sitting on a panel of speakers for Grant MacEwan University’s career week.
Erin has been a director on the CTV Good Neighbour Fund board for the last 7 years, and chaired its largest annual fundraiser, The Poor Boys Luncheon, for 4 of those years. She also sits on the Latitude 53 board, as well as their fundraising committee, and is a member of ArtsScene Edmonton.
Erin was recently part of a 3 woman urban intervention team, LIVINGbridge, which imagined, organized and implemented the planting of a sustainable, largely edible community garden on an abandoned rail bridge in the heart of downtown Edmonton.
The following is a statement on her current work:
This work is a reflection of where I come from and how I relate to my surroundings. I take the romantic idea of the prairies, the “golden west”, then blow it apart and explore it. My experiences with the land motivated me to create this work.
The pieces acknowledge traditional styles and genres of painting, but in an unexpected way. They are melancholic and beautiful in their exploration of landscape and the “dark pastoral”.
I use memory, personal photos, and found photos to create these pieces.
“The Journeymen” series is a new body of work that explores the same themes as my landscape work in a different way. They are inspired by a group of people I know (cowboys, country singers, game/trophy hunters, drifters) and their lives. The work is personal, and explores life here, including the dark and uncanny parts. The pieces challenge and explore ideas of beauty, violence and death, engaging viewers' own personal experiences.
These are abstract emotional landscapes that reference concrete ideas and images from forensic pathology, but also capture complex mindscapes. The work bridges the figurative and abstract divide. These are not intended to be purely decorative, but contemplative in their approach to the unexpected beauty of awful things.
I am committed to experimenting with color, materials, and the distinct physical qualities and possibilities of paint. I wanted to achieve a depth of field through layering paint, drawing materials, and resin. I also wanted to achieve an uncomfortable tension between real and not real, shiny and flat, chance and deliberate mark making, garish colors and corporeal mounds. My hope is for the literal tension in the materials to contribute to the emotional tension in the work.
“Oh Josef/mini palettes”
These pieces are about color, scale and repetition. Despite my landscape work looking like it all uses a similar palette, I mix all my own colors from a huge range of spectrums. I like to simplify what I’m doing every once in a while, focus on pure color and ratios. I look to the work of Josef Albers and other color theorists to inform these pieces.