Peter Ellis 'A head in a hive of bee' (2013). Photo by Mark Ashkanasy
    Peter Ellis 'A head in a hive of bee' (2013). Photo by Mark Ashkanasy
    Peter Ellis 'A head in a hive of bee' (2013). Photo by Mark Ashkanasy


A Head In A Hive of Bees

27 Jun 2013 -
17 Aug 2013

RMIT Gallery
Victoria, Australia


A Head in A Hive of Bees showcases the artist’s idiosyncratic, surreal imagery and focuses on drawing as the core activity in his work.

This exhibition includes the recent series of large multi-paneled works on Japanese shikishi boards along side selected drawings spanning Ellis’s career including rarely seen sketchbooks and artist’s books.

Ellis’s imagery has its origins in automatic drawing that is spontaneous and a reflection of the spirit. He conjures strange animals and insects, alien characters and abstracted forms divined from subconscious thoughts often without pre-conceived idea.

Drawn directly from the imagination, these works are often intimate in scale, calligraphic and articulate simultaneously. They indicate Ellis’s long-standing involvement with a Dada and Surrealist philosophy.

Conscious analysis and research inspired by these drawings create another layer of associated imagery from a wide variety of sources.

The works in the exhibition bristle with Chinese and Japanese landscape references and scientific apparatus perhaps evidence of an experiment where science goes wrong.

A sense of mystery and metamorphosis pervades a scene waiting to be revealed. A cause and affect principal is in place. Things are changing.

Everywhere there are fractures of imagery in scale, time and form, voids, dis- junctions and connections. Some images disappear only to emerge unexpectedly elsewhere. Ellis’s drawings buzz with activity, emotion and the transformative power of an inventive imagination.


Public Program

L’Âge d’Or (The Golden Age) 1930 PG

Date: Thursday, 25 July 2013
Time: 5.30-7pm
Cost: Free

Peter Ellis will introduce the influential Surrealist film, L’Âge d’Or directed by Luis Buñuel. The second film collaboration between Buñuel and Salvador Dali, this revolutionary masterpiece of Surrealist cinema was banned for 50 years.

Peter Ellis artist floor talk

Date: Thursday, 1 August 2013
Time: 12.30-1.30pm
Cost: Free

Bizarre animal forms, hybrid creatures inhabiting seemingly irrational psychological spaces. These are the images that have permeated artist Peter Ellis’ drawings for over 38 years.