Bridging the Distance

Ellen Nelson's avatar Ellen Nelson

Human. Animal. Plant. Insect. Object. How and why do we measure the distance between these things? The multitude of ways that we interact with and respect one another almost never fails to fit into a hierarchy. We allow unspeakable violence into our daily lives via factory farming by using the words, “they’re just animals.” This way of thinking, however tends to migrate to human interaction: She’s just a woman. He’s just an entry-level worker. This mindset can stem even from such mundane objects as our shoes; we are more likely to kick them off and throw them in a heap than we are to consider what they are made of, who made them, and how vital they really are for us. Nothing in this world is ever ‘just,’ ‘merely,’ or ‘only.’ These five paintings intend to bridge the distance between the levels of our hierarchy. When thrown into piles and put on display, the humans, animals, plants, insects, and objects of this world start to look pretty similar.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 2-D
  • Depth: 3 inches
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Width: 24 feet
  • Year created: 2014
  • Height: 4 feet