LEVEL 3, GALLERY 28
FRANCE, BORN 1966
LIVES AND WORKS IN PARIS
Véronique Ellena is a passionate witness to everyday events, and she works using both documentary and staged photography to tell sensitive stories of contemporary life. Her series of five photographs, Les Invisibles, was commenced in 2008 during her residency at the Villa Médicis, Rome, when she became acutely aware of the presence of homeless people living in the centre of the historic city. The works included in NGV Triennial were created in 2011 when Ellena revisited the scenes she witnessed, as a way to sensitively draw attention to the plight of homeless people living in affluent cities across the world. Each of these photographs shows a shrouded figure, either draped in a blanket or canvas cloth; lying in doorways, on public steps, or on the bases of public monuments. They are eloquent reminders of an altogether too familiar sight in contemporary cites: the too easily overlooked presence of the homeless.
Véronique Ellena studied photography at the National School of Art in Nancy and later at the National School of Visual Arts in Brussels. She began exhibiting her work in 1997, and since that time has held a number of solo exhibitions and participated in numerous group shows. Ellena has been awarded a number of residencies at studios in Europe including the Villa Médicis in Rome and the École des Beaux-arts in Clermont-Ferrand. Her photographs are held in the collections of the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Museum of Photography in Charleroi, Belgium; and the Musée Malraux, Le Havre. The works included in NGV Triennial were featured in her first major retrospective exhibition held at the Musée Reattu in Arles in 2018.
The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Champions Barry Janes & Paul Cross for their support.