Don't Worry Your Head

Ellie Dent

Feburary 9, 2019 - March 21, 2019

Ellie Dent.jpg

Opening Reception: Saturday, February 9th 7-10PM
Exhibition Runs: February 9, 2019 - March 21, 2019

The work of Ellie Dent focuses on the experience of being a patient in today’s health industry. Her visual interests are at the intersection of medical science, object making, and traumatic experience. Motivated by fear and fetish, her work stems from a personal narrative of medical trauma, the impact of diagnosis, and the rituals of chronic illness.


Using primarily steel and appropriated hospital materials, the work’s simultaneous presence and absence of the human body raises conversations about mortality and control. Materially, Dent uses specific objects that patients interact with during examination that identify them as patient, like hospital gowns and exam table paper. Her work also reflects an interest in materials that exist in a space without the doctor that recalls memories of being a patient, like pharmaceutical waste. Dent assigns these materials as souvenirs for the purpose of discussing the topics of sentimentality, confession, and collection.  These materials remind us that we are always subjects to a medical industry.


The steel armatures present in the work are designed to present the body as a specimen, heightening the sensation of vulnerability and humiliation of examination. Designing with the proportion of the body in mind, Dent prompts the viewer to examine the body like a doctor. She takes inspiration from the meat industry, where animals are treated as objects in a condition that’s unsterile, unregulated, and violent. Dent’s work is also a reflection of being a woman in America trying to navigate the tenuous battle of gaining and losing control of our bodies during the current political debate on healthcare.


Dent’s body of work, although diverse in material and imagery, is a critique of the display of power in the health industry.

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Gallery hours: Saturdays 1-5PM
Closing Reception: Thursday, March 21 7-9PM