In Conversation

Ellen Barratt
" My prints are visual reminders to take a moment to breathe and the value of self care"



Macclesfield, United Kingdom. 
53.2587° N, 2.1193° W

Can you tell us more about your professional background and your progression into photography? 

I studied a BA in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts, London which was a very open course allowing me to completely expand my mind and artistic practice. During these 3 years I delved into drawing, photography and film but these manifested themselves, mainly, in installation-based works. A photograph for example has been taken through the process of capturing light. As clouds sit on the edge of materiality, and often have very large surface areas, they are hard to capture. 


You describe your brand as a mindful art shop bringing positivity, could you tell us the story of Sublime Clouds and the inspiration behind the brand? 

The idea of looking out of the window, watching the clouds drift by or the sun dip behind the brow of a hill, is an old one. I’ve studied the sky for a few years now as I was reading philosophical texts around the ideas of the sublime and how our mind and body communicate in moments of awe. These moments are most often caused by/within nature. The sky, and clouds in particular, act as a metaphor for many philosophical and inward questions.  

“Cloud is a body without a surface but not without substance… although it has no surface, cloud is visible” - Hubert Damisch.



My prints are visual reminders to take a moment to breathe and the value of self care. Here is where Sublime Clouds was born. It has continued to grow as I have become more aware of bringing a moment of mindfulness into your daily life, and an art print is the perfect way to do it. 


How important is nature to you and how do you connect with it? 

When I studied in London I realised how much nature meant to me. London is busy and the countryside is the opposite, and I think its good to have a balance, but I enjoy the quiet space that nature creates. I always have loved photographing and drawing the light changes and subtleties within nature but particularly the skies. 




How do you think we can lead a more mindful & conscious lifestyle as individuals and how can this be beneficial? 

Slow living has always been in my life as my parents are very thrifty, reusing, repurposing, up-cycling everything. I continue to love it too. I feel it adds even more value when you have put time into it. It also helps me feel more grounded. I guess these ideas go hand in hand with sourcing local and environmentally friendly supplies. It’s about looking after yourself and each other and having a positive impact on the planet. Sourcing locally benefits your local economy and reduces carbon footprint - an upward spiral of positivity and success. I also feel pride in supporting other local businesses as we can all help each other out. Being educated about where you choose to shop, where you choose to spend your money, can help curate a life you enjoy living, whilst supporting the people and ideas you believe in. 

All of my Giclee prints are printed locally on recycled FSC certified paper with plant based pigment inks. This is a completely toxic free and organic process. 


What do you treasure most? 
Kindness. Kindness can be found in many places, but I find it is often overlooked. 


People, places, works of art?  What are your favourite sources of inspiration? 

James Turrell & Larry Bell - who I would call the masters of light, in contemporary art. They have both produced and Turrell continues to produce, awe provoking artworks. Bell used glass and light as his medium, manipulating the surface to surpass traditional boundaries and expand visual and perceptive fields of vision. Turrell often pays with illusion, manipulating the brain into making judgements about light which would be abnormal in our daily lives. These manipulations only happen usually within nature. Turrell brings together technology, architecture and nature. Turrell has also built many beautiful Skyscapes which allow you to perceive the sky as if it is flat and two dimensional. 


What is next on the horizon for you and Sublime Clouds? 

As I am coming from a fine art background, I still enjoy exhibiting my work. I am very much looking forward to showing in Paris later this year as it was postponed due to the pandemic. I’d feel very lucky if I could continue my artistic practice and research into light/the sky. 



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